Earnings Preview: Harley Davidson

| About: Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG)

Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) is expected to report Q1 earnings before the market open on Thursday, April 16 with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET.


Analysts are looking for a profit of 51c on revenue of $1.28B. The consensus range is 41c-69c for EPS, and revenue of $1.14B-$1.36B, according to First Call.

Analyst Views

According to a March 22 article in the New York Times, the company is finding it difficult in a tight credit environment. Without the ability to offer credit to a cash-strapped consumer, motorcycle sales are likely to fall further. Last month, Harley-Davidson said worldwide sales by its dealers fell 13% in the first two months of the year. However, the company is making changes -- Keith Wandell, president and COO of Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) has been selected to replace Jim Ziemer as president and CEO.

The good news for Harley is that the company's Harley-Davidson Financial Services lending arm announced a new $600M debt offering and said Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) bought a portion of the new debt.

In a research note, Citigroup analyst Gregory Badishkanian said the company's U.S. sales trends are starting to improve, despite tight financing and weak international sales. The analyst expects results at the financial arm to be hurt by write-downs and market share loss, but expects Harley to achieve its 2009 guidance because March trends likely did not deteriorate significantly.