Harley-Davidson’s (HOG) 3Q17

posted in: Earnings Call, Notes | 0

Matthew Levatich – President, Chief Executive Officer

Little residual tarnishing crossover between brand USA and American products

“…there’s actually a lot of really good research on this very topic generally that suggests that the connection between brand U.S.A., if you will, or political or foreign policy interpretations around the world versus American product brands and whether there is any sort of residual tarnishing crossing over, or whatever you might think, there doesn’t seem to be, and there’s some really very smart research on the topic that we’re paying a lot of attention to because clearly the Harley brand is inextricably linked with the ideals of America, which are freedom, independence and strength.

John Olin – Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

The impact of hurricanes

“…the hurricanes adversely impacted the industry in Q3. While it is very difficult to isolate, we estimate the impact of the hurricanes accounted for approximately 1.5 to 2 percentage points of Harley Davidson’s retail sales decline during the quarter.”

Tight inventory levels

“when we look at shipments versus retail sales next year, there is an opportunity to ship in at a little bit higher rate just because of the way we’re taking the inventory out this year…..overall inventory levels will remain tight through the fourth quarter and into 2018.”

Calling the industry has been difficult

“I don’t know anyone that has called the industry right at this point. It’s an industry that has grown 28 out of 33 years, and there’s only been two periods in three decades where it’s been down – one was in the recession in 2009 and ’10, and then over the last two years here, so we’re doing our best to forecast it.”