Harley-Davidson Inc HOG
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 01/29/2013

Operator: Good morning. My name is Sarah, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Harley-Davidson Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.

I'd now like to turn the call over to Amy Giuffre, Director of Investor Relations. Ms. Giuffre you may begin.

Amy Giuffre - Director, IR: Thank you, Sarah and welcome to Harley-Davidson’s fourth quarter 2012 earnings conference call. The audio for today’s call is being webcast live on The supporting slides can be accessed on our website 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 to your questions.

Let's get started. Keith.

Keith E. Wandell - Chairman, President and CEO: Thank you Amy. Good morning, and thanks for joining us today, as we review our 2012 results and look ahead to next year. We appreciate very much your interest in Harley-Davidson.

Our entire team takes pride in what we achieved last year. We did what we setup to do, driving improvements on many fronts and growing the business and shareholder value. EPS was up 16.7% for the full year and new Harley-Davidson motorcycle retail sales grew 6.2% worldwide.

We completed the highly successful launch of the ERP production system in our York plan and shares of Harley-Davidson stock rose more than 25% in value during the year, once again outpacing the S&P 500.

These are just some of the latest proof points of the vast improvements of Harley-Davidson’s operations and performance since embarking on our strategy of transformation in 2009.

Today, Harley-Davidson is leaner, more agile and more responsive to our customers and the changing marketplace than ever before and we continue to rule aggressively to raise our performance to new levels. All of this is only possible through the efforts and dedication of our employees, our dealers and suppliers. They are doing a truly outstanding job and together working as one team and moving in one direction. We are driving performance and delivering for our customers and all stakeholders.

As we enter 2013, the restructuring of our production operations is largely behind us. The rollout of the ERP system at York in the third quarter went incredibly well and is beginning to yield results. Day by day, we are improving our ability to supply dealers with the mix of motorcycles they need for their customers and in a more timely manner.

The ramp-up of surge production at York has also gone well since we launched it at the start of the year. We are on target with our run rates, safety and quality, and has successfully integrated more than 400 seasonal employees to support surge at York and our Wisconsin plants, which supply York. Let me just note that we’re extremely grateful to all of our full-time production employees, who have been welcoming and helpful to the seasonal workforce. At Kansas City, we continue to lay the groundwork for the launch of surge production in 2014.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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