This represents a loss in its Market Value of around -17 percent in less than three months and nearly 40 percent in less than a year (the 2018 high was $56.50 in January). A year that has seen Harley-Davidson break cover on the most detailed and ambitious long-term strategic plan any motorcycle manufacturer has ever disclosed to its investors. A year in which Harley
At the time of writing, the Harley share price had plummeted as low as to $34.79, a seven year low. By mid-December 2018 Harley’s Market Capitalization (“Market Cap” – the real measure of the value of a publicly traded business) had been dragged down to a low of $5.69bn, a drop of over $4.6bn (nearly -45 percent) since its March 2017 two-year high of 10.32bn; it has more than halved with a loss of nearly -60 percent (-$8.31bn) since its April 2014 five-year high of over $14bn.
Harley’s share price has only once threatened to get back to the levels seen before the financial crisis. Since 2014, investor sentiment has been mostly negative despite healthy dividends.
Its all-time Market Cap high came in November 2006, before the financial crisis started to erode all stock price values, at $15.34bn, when its share price was trading at close to $74.00; the highest its share price has been since then was around $70.70 in May 2014.
Harley-Davidson has been more exposed than many to the wider economic and geo-political concerns that are also creating an environment of unease and uncertainty – tariffs especially.
2018 has been brutal - even “More Roads” has failed to impress investors.
Harley’s third quarter EPS (Earnings Per Share – total dividends arising from net income expressed as a factor of the number of outstanding shares) shows that the company remains profitable and, arguably, theoretically, increasingly so. The $0.68 EPS was a massive 70 percent up on the third quarter of 2017, with Q3 revenue having been driven up by increased shipments - which Harley claims to have done while still managing inventory carefully - compared to Q3 there were 2,200 fewer unsold bikes in showrooms as the quarter closed.