Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column says that Harley-Davidson Inc. management may be less loyal than its riders, based on a recent spat of insider selling: in November and October seven executives including its Chairman and CEO sold a record number of shares as prices hit record highs of $75.87 (now $70.10). Other similar clusters of sales in 2001 and 2004 preceded price falls or flatlining. 2006 U.S. sales were up just 0.3%, worrisome since domestic sales account for 80% of its revenue. Sales financed by internal loans are up to 48% from 21% in 2000, seemingly indicating the company is being more aggressive in extending credit. The number of days that payments were outstanding is 188 vs. 69.5 in 2000. Douglas Pratt of Mesa Capital: "It may be somewhat concerning that accounts-receivables days outstanding is rising at the same time that the credit quality is deteriorating."
Sources: Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Harley Davidson Stalls: Problems Beyond Subprime Loans? • S&P Gives Harley Davidson Securitization Negative Bias • What's in a Name? Value, at Times
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE:HOG)
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