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Harley Davidson’s Sales Expectedly Drop But Manage to Beat Wall Street Estimates

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Harley Davidson News

The iconic American brand has seen brighter days as the company reported a 24% profit drop due to weakening U.S. demand and increased costs due to tariffs on its US-made motorcycles. Harley Davidson (NYSE:HOG) motorcycles stand for their authenticity and the passion of its bikers but the company’s core audience is aging. Consequently, this lifestyle trend is declining in the U.S. Despite the positive results of the company’s strategy to combat that trend by entering new international markets, its bottom line has been damaged by tariffs. On the bright side, its shares went up 6.4% as the company managed to beat earnings expectations for both its revenue and profit.

Third Quarter Earnings

Third quarter sales were expected to drop but the results were at least better than those predicted by Wall Street analysts. Revenues did fall 4.9% to $1.07 billion but better than in the previous third quarter, when they went down 6% from a year earlier to $1.43 billion, whereas analyst estimates for the quarter were $1.44 billion. What is clear over the past few years is a negative trend that portrays a diminishing demand for heavyweight motorcycles.

Its net income fell from $113.9 million a year earlier to $86.6 million. Overall, Harley-Davidson shares have risen almost 9% since the beginning of the 2019 but dropped slightly more than 6% during the last 12 months. Its total retail motorcycle sales worldwide in the quarter declined 1.2 percent from 59,226 units a year ago to 58,522 units sold. Motorcycle shipments in the quarter decreased 5.8 percent during the one-year period from to 48,639 units to 45,837 units. The company expects shipments to fall further and be in the range of 38,500 to 43,500 motorcycles in the next and last, fourth quarter.

Turnaround strategy – shift to electric

While the number of motorcycles Harley-Davidson has shipped and sold during the third quarter is important, many were more worried about the company’s decision to halt production of its LiveWire electric motorcycle to investigate a quality issue. The good news is that the issue was singular and the production has resumed. This bike is the symbolic centrepiece of the company’s turnaround plan that involves moving to electric vehicles and attracting younger bike drivers.

International market

Harley-Davidson hopes to alter its fate by focusing on smaller motorcycles, particularly when it comes to its presence in China. These models are expected them to go on sale by the end of next year, so they don’t have any real impact on the company’s results for this quarter. The bikes will also be the first ones the company manufactured outside the U.S. so critics are expected for moving jobs abroad. The company was encouraged by a 2.7% increase in international sales, despite its bottom line being hurt by $21.6 million in higher tariff costs from China and Europe.

Competition

The iconic brand known for innovation and a distinct promotional identity but it has many strong rivals. Triumph Bikes, the largest British motorcycle and 100% privately owned company has always had its own distinct character based on holistic riding experience with the perfect balance of power and style. The Japanese Yamaha Motor Company (TSE:TYO) is targeting the middle class with stylish motorcycle and scooters with a good mileage thanks to its R&D and control teams. The company successfully brands itself by being a regular participant in motorcycle and car racing. And there’s the Italian Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. whose motorbike is a global favourite for superior styling and performance. The company is owned by German automotive manufacturer Audi and its Italian subsidiary Lamborghini, which is in turn owned by the Volkswagen Group (OTC:AWGY) who just saw its worldwide deliveries rise by 9.2%, amounting to 904 200 vehicles in September. The group has managed to increase its market share in shrinking global markets.

Honda – of course.

The list goes on and on to even include Honda motorcycle, owned obviously by Honda Motor Company (NYSE:HMC), Japan’s third automaker that is the latest to join on the trend of cutting on diesel models to meet stricter emissions. Headquartered in India, its excellent machines have been loved for ages. Honda plans to phase out all diesel cars in Europe by 2021 so they can be exchanged for models with electric propulsion systems as the automaker aims to electrify all of its European cars by 2025. Honda is the latest automaker cutting production of diesel cars to meet stringent global emissions regulations. Declining demand for diesel vehicles and stricter emissions regulations have clouded its manufacturing prospects in Europe. In February, Honda announced the closure of its only British car plant in 2021 which will result in a loss of up to 3,500 jobs. But Honda is a smart player and its main strength lies in its R&D to which it owes its large presence in the combustion engine market, including yachts, airplanes, and many others.

Even BMW is struggling in finding its way to an all-electric future

Even BMW Motoren Werke (ETR:BMW), the German luxury car maker that is successful since 1923 in the motorcycles segment, finds electrification to be challenging and not just cost-wise. Although German, some of its engines are produced in China, Austria, and Taiwan so it’s not immune to the trade tensions. On its journey towards a fully electrified line-up, BMW plans to restructure its portfolio and focus more on selling its high profit margin models.

Outlook

With sales at home continuing to fall and challenges encountered internationally, along with the next-generation electric motorcycle already facing delays, the prospects for future growth remain cloudy despite improvements such as savings from manufacturing optimization initiative. It is clear Harley-Davidson needs to become smarter in finding new ways to appeal to younger generations before it can manage to overturn this sales slump and hopefully, start growing again.

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

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Moderna Misses Expectations But Things Are More Than Fine

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Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) saw its stock jump on Thursday despite growing losses, after the Covid-19 vaccine-maker reported more than double the revenue Wall Street predicted. Moderna missed EPS expectations with revenue far surpassing analyst forecasts as the company first began to recognize revenue from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020. The loss was simply a result of heavy investment to increase production of its COVID-19 vaccine.

The company has spent the past two months producing and shipping its much-awaited coronavirus vaccine but its fourth-quarter is merely the surface of its vaccine success. In 2021, Moderna plans to manufacture 600-700 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine but it should be able to expand its capacity to 1.4 billion doses in 2022 due to heavy capital investments, all of which should result in massive profits.

Q4 and FY 2020

For the fourth quarter ended December 31s, quarterly loss of $0.69 per share was below Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.25 but Moderna brought in $570.75 billion in sales. That crushed the average estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet for $279.4 million andsurpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 74.76%. Just one year ago, revenues amounted to $14.06 million but until its mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine, the company had never brought an approved medicine to the market.

Losses grew to 69 cents per share after a 37-cent per-share loss in the year-ago period, whereas analysts expected a 34-cent loss. Although a big portion of revenue still came from the grant received from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to advance its Covid vaccine, for the first time,Moderna had product sales, and they amounted to $199.87 million as the company began recognizing Covid vaccine sales in December. Although losses widened in 2020, Moderna’s sales skyrocket to $803.4 million.

Possible threat

One of the biggest risks ahead for all vaccine makers is the prevalence of new coronavirus variants. To tackle this, Moderna is investigating two upgrades. The first is actually a third dose of vaccine that would increase neutralizing antibody levels to better fend off new strains. The second is a strain-specific upgraded version which has been moved into preclinical and phase 1 trials as of end of January. Moderna is designing it to target the. If successful, the company should be able to quickly adapt it to protect against future strainsalthough it is designed to target the South African variation.

Teenagers

In early December, Moderna began a phase 2/3 trial of its covid vaccine in young adults who are 12 to 17years old. The data will be reported in spring and should result in Emergency Use Authorization just in time for the back-to-school period in September. But as of last month, Moderna didn’t have enough adolescent volunteers.

Teens aren’t at the greatest risk from serious COVID-19 complications but they play a role in the transmission of the virus, so their vaccination is another  important element in containing the pandemic.

2021

The company expects $18.4 billion in full-year 2021 sales of its Covid vaccine. The figure is based on already inked advance purchase agreements but additional discussions are ongoing for both 2021 and 2022. That outlook shattered forecasts as analysts expected $11 billion. Furthermore, the company said it plans to make 700 million doses of its vaccine this year, while still working to bring that capacity up to 1 billion. In 2022, Moderna expects be able to produce 1.4 billion doses.

Chief Executive Stephane Bancel called 2020 a historic year for the company as it trailed Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) by a week in the U.S by gaining emergency use authorization. The vaccine is Moderna’s first commercial product with 32 million doses having been administered in the U.S. to millions of people around the world.

In 2020, Moderna went from knowing mRNA vaccines can be highly efficient it went to cash-flow generating commercial company that is helping save the world form the claws of an invisible enemy. The latest reported quarter ended a milestone year for the biotech company. 2020 was a year in which the world went dark but the pandemic helped Moderna shine as it provided us with a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. Since the beginning of 2021, its shares gained 38.6%, greatly exceeding S&P 500’s gain of 4.5%.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Li Did Good But Not Good Enough

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Li Auto Inc (NASDAQ: LI) earnings were good but guidance wasn’t good enough as Chinese electric-vehicle maker reported solid fourth-quarter numbers Thursday. Despite producing a surprise profit, stock reversed and Li wasn’t the only one. Nio Limited (NYSE) who is due to report Monday fell 9.7% and Xpeng Inc (NYSE: XPEV) lost 8.55% Thursday. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) gave up 8.1%. Earlier this week, Texas-based Hyliion (Holdings Corporation (NYSE: HYLN), which makes EV powertrains for commercial fleets, reported a loss of 13 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

Figures

The results were a little confusing, but good as Li reported $636 million in sales as revenue jumped 39%, exceeding $604 million that analysts projected in sales. The company reported a loss from operations but a positive net income. Still, the loss from operations was about $12 million which is smaller than expected. Li Auto earnings came in at 2 cents a share whereas analysts expected a loss of 4 cents on a revenue of $565.5 million. The company also generated positive free cash flow. Investors like it when young companies demonstrate the ability to be self-funding by generating the cash they need to grow from their own operations.

Throughout the quarter, Li delivered 14,464 of its Li One SUV, its only vehicle in production which is technically a hybrid because it has a small gas engine to extend its range. This is 67% more than third quarter’s 8,660 with the total for 2020 being approximately 32,624 deliveries Its rival Nio (NYSE: NIO) sold 17,353 units in Q4 and 43,728 for the year, while Xpeng (NYSE: XPEV) sold 12,964 in Q4 and 27,041 for the year. What enabled Li to deliver a bottom-line profit from an operating loss is the required accounting of securities.

Outlook

Management expects first quarter revenue to come in the range of $450.6 million to $493.5 million. This range would represents a growth between 246% and 279% compared to previous fiscal year’s quarter. Deliveries are expected to be in the range between 10,500 and 11,500 vehicles, up 263%-297% compared to the same quarter last year but less than the fourth quarter which will make reaching analyst projections for 2021 sales projections more challenging. The company reported that January deliveries soared 356% YoY to 5,379 but that is below December 2020’s 6,126.

As the automotive industry is undergoing a once-in-a-century shift to smart EVs, the fourth quarter ended a big year for Li that grew significantly due to strong demand for its distinctive product offering and superior user experience. Government’s support for EVs also doesn’t hurt as to encourage adoption, not only are license plates guaranteed but they are also free.

The earnings provided a sigh of relief for investors as Li stock has had a rocky ride lately. As of Wednesday’s close, shares were down about 11% month to date.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Baidu Is Determined To Show It Has More to Offer

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For two decades, the 21-year-old company has been viewed as an online marketing tool that sells ads through its web search results. But now, the internet company is ready to show it has much more to offer. Last week, it reported fourth quarter earnings for 2020 that beat market expectations and revealed its ambitious plans to enter the EV land. Many years of investing in AI has finally started to pay off as Baidu is finally monetizing the technology used with smart devices. Company’s investments in non-core businesses iarealso helping it defend its core search platform from rivals Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), Tencent Holdings (OTC: TCEHY) and privately-ownedByteDance, whose products are just as popular.

The Chinese tech giant has recovered from the worst impact that the pandemic had on its business as advertising rebounded. Moreover, non-marketing revenue which excludes advertising and includes its cloud and autonomous driving business, grew 52% YoY. Baidu is also tapping into capital markets, including a potential second listing in Hong Kong. Baidu beefs up its autonomous and smart transport technology to tainto the EV market as it revealed back in January it would set up a smart electric vehicle (EV) company with Geely.

As the domestic economy recovers, the company want to tap into into the fast-growing electric-vehicle market to diversify revenue sources.

Figures

Full year revenue for 2020 amounted to $16.4 billion which is flat compared to 2019. Adjusted earnings of $3.08 per share versus analyst estimates of $2.79 per share came after revenues of $4.6 billion versus analyst estimates of $4.7 billion, according to FactSet.

The company provided guidance for the undergoing quarter that was ahead of analyst estimates. Revenue is expected to be in the $4.0 billion and $4.4 billion, representing a growth rate of 15% to 26% YoY, but it does not include potential contribution from its acquisition of live streaming app YY Live. The acquisition was announced last November and is expected to close in the first half of the year. The guidance is also based on the assumption that its core revenue will grow between 26% and 39% on a YoY basis.

EVs

Baidu places a lot of emphasis on its Apollo self-driving technology. Last month, the company formed a strategic partnership with the Chinese car company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to create a standalone electric car company. Baidu is the majority shareholder. Together, they aim to launch a smart EV model inthree years. Robin Li, Baidu’s CEO Li also said a brand name has been chosen but did not release it.

CNBC has confirmed Xia Yiping, co-founder of bike-sharing start-up Mobike, will be the CEO of the new entity. Xia previously worked at Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) and Ford before co-founding a company that was part of China’s boom and eventual bust in shared bike start-ups.

Even Xiaomi is following Baidu’s EV footsteps as the Chinese search engine leader has been basking in newfound investor love as the next EV-maker wannabe. Unlike other EV makers, Baidu’s strategy is akin to Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android for smartphones.

Outlook

Baidu ended an unprecedented year on a solid note and showed it is recovering from the consequences of the global health crisis as its business benefited from an improving macroeconomic environment and the digitalization of businesses and lifestyles. Its commitment on innovation through technology is paying off for the Chinese tech giant. Baidu is well positioned as a leading AI company with a strong foundation to seize the enormous market opportunities in cloud services, autonomous driving, smart transportation, along with all kinds of new opportunities that AI will inevitably bring to the table. The online marketing company chose to be in the right place, at the right time.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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