American icon Harley-Davidson has been making a lot of headlines lately and they aren’t always good ones. The Milwaukee brand just reported its results from the fourth quarter of 2018 and they aren’t pretty. Its earnings per share are $0.00, its widest margin of missing estimates since 2009, and it saw a sales decline in the U.S. of just over 10 percent. This is the eighth quarter in a row that H-D has taken a sales hit in the States.
International sales for H-D are down 2.6 percent making for a grand total of a 6.7 percent dip in sales worldwide for Q4. In this case, selling fewer motorcycles means less revenue and net income. Revenue is down a little over $1 billion at 6.8 percent and net income is down $500k which is a 7.8 percent dip.
Alright, we’re done boring you with numbers. Long story short, bad news got even worse for Harley at the end of what ended up being a pretty rough year for the brand.
So, what is Harley going to do to get out of its slump? CEO Matt Levatich still sounds convinced that the More Roads to Harley-Davidson plan will make the brand’s problems disappear. "The challenges we experienced during the year reinforced the commitment we have for our More Roads to Harley-Davidson accelerated plan for growth," Levatich said according to CNBC. "Our plan addresses the challenges of today and the opportunities we see for growth ahead, and we are energized by the momentum we are building."
It’s good that Levatich feels “energized” because there doesn’t seem to be much to be optimistic about right now for Harley-Davidson or its investors. Here’s hoping future products like the electric LiveWire are as successful as H-D needs them to be.