Harley-Davidson Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Harley-Davidson (HOG)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 01, 2012 9:00 am ET


Amy Giuffre

Keith E. Wandell - Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President

John A. Olin - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Lawrence G. Hund - President of HDFS and Chief Operating Officer of HDFS


Timothy A. Conder - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Craig R. Kennison - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Sharon Zackfia - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Edward Aaron - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Patrick Archambault - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Rod Lache - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

James Hardiman - Longbow Research LLC

Gregory R. Badishkanian - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Robin M. Farley - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Jaime M. Katz - Morningstar Inc., Research Division



Good morning. My name is Tracy, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Harley-Davidson's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I'll now introduce and turn the call over to Ms. Amy Giuffre, Director of Investor Relations. You may begin your conference.

Amy Giuffre

Thank you, Tracy. Good morning, everyone. The audio for today's call is being webcast live on harley-davidson.com. The supporting slides can be accessed by clicking on Company, Investor Relations, then Events and Presentations.

Our comments today will include forward-looking statements that are subject to risks that could cause actual results to be materially different. Those risks include, among others, matters we have noted in our latest earnings release and filings with the SEC. Harley-Davidson disclaims any obligation to update information in this call.

This morning, you'll hear from Harley-Davidson's CEO, Keith Wandell; CFO, John Olin; and President of Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Larry Hund. Then we'll open the call for your questions.

So let's get started. Keith?

Keith E. Wandell

Thanks, Amy. Good morning, and thanks, everyone, for joining us on the call. We appreciate your spending this time with us today and for your interest in Harley-Davidson. As you saw on this morning's earnings release, Harley-Davidson reported continued strong performance, including EPS growth of 32% for the second quarter and retail sales that exceeded our expectations through the first 6 months. We believe these results are a reflection of the effective implementation of our business strategy, combined with strong dealer execution at retail. Our strategy provides the roadmap for success over the long term through exceptional product development, manufacturing and retail capabilities. And I want to recognize all the continued outstanding work by our employees, our dealers and suppliers who are making such a difference. Together, we're doing great things working as one team moving in one direction to deliver for our customers.

Among the many initiatives underway as part of Harley-Davidson's strategy is the installation of our ERP system at our vehicle operations in York. The migration of data from legacy systems to the new ERP system in early July went extremely well. This has been followed by a ramp up of production under the new ERP system in York, which also is going according to plan. You don't have to look any further than this truly outstanding job to understand the passion and the dedication of our employees.

The implementation of the ERP at York supports our efforts to introduce greater flexibility in manufacturing. In the years to come, we expect to have much greater ability to produce any bike on any line, anywhere. Among the other benefits, ERP enhances our ability to expand Harley-Davidson's leadership in factory customization over time. It's a win for the company, for our shareholders and our dealers and a big win for our customers.

A moment ago, I touched on Harley-Davidson's retail sales growth, and we, again, gained market share in the U.S. in the second quarter. We also continue to make progress at reaching new customer groups. One of our goals is to grow faster -- to grow sales faster to outreach customers than to core riders, and I'm pleased to report that in each of the past 3 quarters, we've done just that. And as we've noted previously, we are the U.S. market share leader among outreach customers, defined as young adults, women, African-American and Hispanic riders, a position we've held for the past 4 years.

So clearly, our products and the unique Harley-Davidson experience exert a powerful pull for many different groups of riders, and not just in the U.S., but around the world. We continue to deliver on our commitment to bring Harley-Davidson experience to more locations internationally. Since the beginning of the year, 12 new Harley-Davidson dealerships have opened in international markets, including Croatia, Russia, Taiwan, Poland and China. And while we are pleased with the progress in these and many areas of -- other areas of our operations, we're also being cautious in our expectations for retail in the back half of the year given the economic uncertainty in many markets. Dealer retail sales in a number of Eurozone countries in particular are reflecting the effects of the economic challenges. So we will continue to keep a close watch on those conditions.

This August is our kickoff for a year of epic experiences to celebrate our 110th anniversary. We've got 2 crews of riders heading out at the same time starting next week who will be blogging and sharing their adventures with their GoPro cameras. The first is a group of young athletes who have never been into Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and they will be riding from Seattle to the Black Hills. Simultaneously, on the opposite side of the world, our Chief Marketing Officer, Mark-Hans Richer, and Asia Pacific Managing Director, Dave Foley, are celebrating with an amazing ride across Tibet, along with some of our new Chinese dealers. And anyone can go along on both of these epic 110th experiences through the online world of social networks at h-d.com/110. Later this month, we're expecting a record number of Harley-Davidson dealers and staff from around the globe to gather in Milwaukee for our annual summer dealer meeting. The summer meeting is always a great time to connect with dealers, share our plans for the business and have some fun.

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