Law Firm Investigating Harley-Davidson Takeover Rumors

PRLog (Press Release)After a media report said that Harley-Davidson, Inc. might be taken over an investigation on behalf of investors of Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) over possible breaches of fiduciary duties was announced.

If you are a current investor in Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE HOG) shares, and/or have any information relating the investigation, you have certain options and you should contact the Shareholders Foundation at mail@shareholdersfoundation.com or call +1(858) 779 – 1554.

The investigation by a law firm is at a preliminary stage and monitors the takeover rumors. It concerns whether Harley-Davidson Inc, certain of its officers and directors, and/or others breach their fiduciary duties owed to Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) investors in connection with the takeover rumors or in the event of a takeover.

Following a media report concerning a potential buyout of the motorcycle manufacture shares of Harley Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) rose from a close of $35.87 on Friday June 3, 2011 to $37.78 on Monday.

However, Harley Davidson has performed well for its investors in the past. Harley-Davidson was able to invested its annual Total Revenue from $4.781billion in 2009 to $4.859billion in 2010. Its Net Income rose from a Net Loss of $55.12million in 2009 to a Net Income of $146.54million in 2010. For the first quarter in 2011 Harley-Davidson, Inc. reported a quarterly Revenue of $1.224billion compared to a quarterly Revenue of $1.207billion for the first quarter in 2010. Harley-Davidson reported a quarterly Net Income of $119.26million for the first quarter in 2011 compared to a quarterly Net Income of $33.33million in 2010.

Additionally NYSE: HOG shares rose from as low as $8.33 in March 09 to as high as as $43.11 per shares in February 201, respectively as high as $42.49 per share in the end of March.

Therefore the investigation by a law firm questions whether a potential sale process and the potential price would be unfair to the shareholders of Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG). The investigation focuses whether the Harley-Davidson board of directors will undertake an adequate and fair sales process to obtain fair consideration for all shareholders of Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) and will breach their fiduciary duties to Harley Davidson, Inc. (HOG) shareholder by failing to adequately shop the Company before entering into any transaction. In addition the investigation seeks also to determine if any officer, director or any insiders violated any laws in connection with the takeover rumors. The investigation concerns also whether the acquirer would underpay for NYSE:HOG shares, thus unlawfully harming Harley-Davidson (NYSE HOG) investors. A potential class action lawsuit would seek to maximize the amount of money and information NYSE HOG shareholders would receive in a buyout, so the law firm.

Those who are current investors in Harley-Davidson, Inc. (Public, NYSE:HOG) common shares, and/or have any information relating the investigation, have certain options and should contact the Shareholders Foundation at mail@shareholdersfoundation.com or call +1(858) 779 – 1554.

Harley-Davidson Performance Shows Continued Improvement

MILWAUKEE, April 19, 2011 — Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) generated increased earnings and worldwide dealer new motorcycle sales grew for the first quarter of 2011.

The Company reported first quarter income from continuing operations of $119.3 million, or $0.51 per share, compared to income from continuing operations of $68.7 million, or $0.29 per share in the year-ago period.

Worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 3.5 percent in the first quarter, compared to last year’s first quarter.

“We are pleased by the growth of our dealers’ new motorcycle sales on a worldwide basis, led by strength in Europe, even as we continue to encounter some headwinds in the U.S. related to the challenging macro-economic conditions,” said Harley-Davidson, Inc. President and CEO Keith Wandell.

The Company’s improved first-quarter earnings performance was driven by operating income from financial services, which climbed 154.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010. Operating income from motorcycles and related products was flat with the year-ago quarter and was impacted by expected inefficiencies related to the restructuring and implementation of the new operating system underway at the Company’s manufacturing operations.

“Our entire team remains focused on transforming our company to be leaner, more agile and more effective than ever at delivering great products and experiences to an increasingly global community of customers,” said Wandell. “Harley-Davidson’s results for the quarter reflect the continued improvement at HDFS, as well as the near-term inefficiencies related to the transformation underway in manufacturing operations at York. We expect to continue to see an impact on our motorcycles segment financial performance in the coming quarters as we complete the transformation of our York operations. When this manufacturing transition is completed next year, we will have a best-in-class, flexible, lean operating structure that we expect will yield substantial ongoing savings.

“While we continue to be encouraged by our overall progress, we are maintaining a cautious outlook for the year,” Wandell said. “I would like to thank all our employees, dealers and suppliers for their dedication and commitment to the transformation of our business.”

Retail New Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales

On a worldwide basis, first-quarter Harley-Davidson retail new motorcycle sales grew 3.5 percent compared to last year’s first quarter. Dealers sold 17,904 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in international markets, an 11.3 percent increase compared to last year’s first quarter, and 31,691 new motorcycles in the U.S., down 0.5 percent, compared to the year-ago period. Industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the year-ago period.

First-quarter data are listed in the accompanying tables.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Financial Results

Revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2011 was $833.4 million, up 3.0 percent compared to the year-ago period. The Company shipped 53,827 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, compared to shipments of 53,674 motorcycles in the first quarter of 2010.

Revenue from Parts and Accessories totaled $164.3 million during the quarter, up 10.2 percent, and revenue from General Merchandise, which includes MotorClothes® apparel, was $62.6 million, down 5.6 percent, compared to the year-ago period.

Gross margin was 33.1 percent in the first quarter, compared to 36.6 percent in the year-ago period. Gross margin was adversely affected by temporary production inefficiencies related to the restructuring and transformation of production operations,  and by foreign exchange and raw materials costs. First-quarter operating margin was 11.8 percent, compared to 12.2 percent in last year’s first quarter.

Financial Services Segment

The financial services segment recorded operating income of $67.9 million in the quarter, compared to operating income of $26.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase in year-over-year operating income is largely the result of continued improvement in credit performance.

Guidance

In a move related to what it believes will be a modest level of supply chain interruption to the Company arising from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Harley-Davidson is widening full-year shipment guidance. The Company now expects to ship 215,000 to 228,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2011, compared to prior shipment guidance of 221,000 to 228,000 motorcycles.

In the second quarter of 2011, Harley-Davidson expects to ship 62,000 to 67,000 motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson and its direct suppliers source a limited number of components and subcomponents, including motorcycle electronics, through suppliers in Japan, and the Company has several of these subcomponent parts on close watch for possible shortages related to the situation there. The Company has identified a supply issue related to an electronic subcomponent used in radios for its motorcycles that could affect shipment volume, and the Company is adjusting shipment guidance accordingly. Based on currently available information, Harley-Davidson believes it has viable solutions for the radios and other subcomponents on its watch list and the Company continues to work closely with its suppliers to monitor the situation and address issues as necessary.

“We continue to assess our supply chains and as a precaution we have decided to modestly reduce the lower end of shipment guidance following the events in Japan,” said Wandell. “Our hearts go out to all the people of Japan, including our community of riders there. We are thankful for the safety of our employees and dealers in Japan and commend them for their tremendous resilience through this difficult period.”

Harley-Davidson now expects 2011 gross margin to be between 33.5 percent and 35.0 percent, versus previous guidance of 34.0 percent to 35.0 percent, as a direct result of the anticipated supply chain interruption. Harley-Davidson continues to expect full-year capital expenditures of between $210 million and $230 million, including $60 million to $75 million to support restructuring activities.

Restructuring Update

Harley-Davidson expects all previously announced company-wide restructuring activities, including those related to the ratification of new labor agreements at its vehicle operations in Kansas City, Mo., to result in one-time charges of $510 million to $525 million, and annual ongoing savings of $305 million to $325 million when fully implemented. In 2011, Harley-Davidson expects to incur restructuring charges of $95 million to $105 million. The Company expects to realize savings on a cumulative basis in 2011 of $210 million to $230 million from restructuring activities initiated since early 2009. In the first quarter of 2011, the Company incurred restructuring charges of $23 million.

Income Tax Rate

For the first quarter of 2011, the Company’s effective income tax rate from continuing operations was 34.8 percent, compared to 47.2 percent in the same quarter of 2010. The effective tax rate in the first quarter of 2010 was negatively impacted by a one-time tax charge of $13.3 million associated with the enactment of the federal healthcare reform legislation.  In 2011, the Company continues to expect its full-year effective tax rate from continuing operations to be approximately 35.0 percent.

Cash Flow

Cash and marketable securities totaled $1.05 billion as of March 27, 2011, compared to $1.48 billion at the end of last year’s first quarter. During the first three months of 2011, the Company contributed $200 million to its pension plans leading to a cash outflow from operating activities of $104.9 million. This compares to a $200.8 million cash inflow from operating activities in the year-ago quarter.  Capital expenditures were $27.7 million for the three months ended in March 2011.