Post retirement benefits show up on the balance sheet at approximately $210 million. This is triple last year's comparable of approximately $61 million. Many companies carry the ticking time bomb and HOG needs to start addressing (funding) the problem. As it now stands, these deferred problems would eat approximately one quarter of earnings.
In the meantime the dividend has been increased and a share repurchase program is well underway. (The Q4 repurchase levels clocked in at approximately $151 million.) Corporate liquidity has tightened as a very significant portion of finance debt has moved into the current category.
The open road beckons but if this continues, HOG will have to pull over for unforeseen maintenance.
HOG 1-yr chart: