Here's my opinion, which stems from 12 years of dealing with H-D: It's another frivolous suit looking for a quick cash settlement. If you didn't know the market and couldn't see that H-D's years of rapid growth weren't reaching market saturation, you didn't actually talk to a dealer, or anyone else that lives the lifestyle and should take responsibility for your own investing. Harley isn't an Enron/Worldcom/Tyco. At its core, H-D is is a manufacturing company, and treating the stock as a boutique growth stock over the past couple of years was wrong in the first place. Where were all the lawyers to sue over too-fast growth and their clients making too much money? No one is criminal until someone else loses money is the American market message I get... but that's another rant (litigeous America is part of the reason I spend so much time abroad, so I'm extremely biased here folks!).
I have a very narrow stock portfolio these days: only five companies. My major investments are out-of-country real estate developments, and fixed CDs. So I'm not averse to risk, and I knowingly accept them. But, two of the five companies whose stock I have have both been hit with, and victoriously settled out of court, similar class-action suits. It stinks to have to wait out the settlement with a depressed stock price, but that's the market. Again, if you're growing rapidly to reach market demand, it's eventually going to be met, and anyone that couldn't see it coming in H-D's case, in my opinion, didn't do their homework and should mea culpa, not sue. H-D's not going anywhere, wait for the market panic to cease and the stock to rise...
Before anyone cries "foul" that we're defending Harley, do your research: I like Harley's product, so does Fonzie. Sean and Gabe don't quite "get" it, Pete pretty much likes everything. From the business end, I'm not too personally thrilled about the company -- in 12 years, we've never been able to sell them an online ad, or convert them to the online marketing ideal. We @MO strongly disagree with that philosophy, and have spent a lot of time, energy and resources trying to convert that mindset, all to no avail. So Harley is a loss-leader for MO, but you don't see us litigating over it now, do you?
Pantless chaps, Village People looks, ball tickler beards and silly faux lids aside, this business of suing over stock price results & esoteric FI accounting "inside baseball" is just the pits.
Sarbanes - Oxley stinks. The law firms specializing in stock price suits - mostly west coast based, ain't they? - stinks. Sptizer stinks. CT yankee law firms stink.
"Stuffed distribution channel" indeed. Now here is a REALLY smart business model: lets build WAY more product that can be sold so as to prop up stock prices in the near term so that.....so that what? Get the rubes to buy in so HD can channel the bucks into plant improvements to improve product to improve sales thusly improving profits? Sounds like a dasterdly thing to do! Quick someone - call Dudley Do Right! And Eliot Spitzer!
Forbesish grumblings aside, the drop in sales appears to have caught the Mother Ship by suprise. One Metro ATL HD dealership has been advertising on a local talk radio station that they have plenty of EVERYTHING in stock.
Bah, humbug. Think I'll go pick apart some narratives my staff wrote this week. That will make me feel better! And if it don't...I'll just tell 'em to knock of early. Hey, I feel better already!
yet another neon-lit sign pointing to the decline of western society as we know it.
am too fat. i got fired at work for being incompetent. my child's grades in school are poor. and now, my harley stocks are underperforming.
must be time to sue someone.
gadzooks, when will people develop the spine to accept that ***** happens? until they do, and until lawyers decide to act ethically, we will slowly, inexorably lose ground to countries (and cultures) with some moral fiber.
... or that you can actually LOSE money invested in the Stock Market.
Harleys not going anywhere, millions of people Like Harleys or the "Harley thing" whatever. I would think it would be a good time to invest in Harleys stock, seriously. Those that lost money can be consoled by the fact that their money didn't go down the drain, others just have it now...