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WisBusiness Tuesday Trends
January 23, 2006
By Brian E. Clark
Harley sales abroad
Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson, Inc. is reporting that foreign sales gave it a profitable fourth quarter, with a 6.4 percent overall increase for the period ending Dec. 31. The company said international sales of its motorcycles increased roughly four times faster than domestic sales. Net income for the quarter was $252.4 million, or 97 cents a share. For the same period last year, profits were $230 million, or 84 cents a share.
Revenue rose nearly 12 percent, from $1.34 billion during the fourth quarter last year to $1.5 billion this year. European sales increased more than 31 percent in the quarter. For the same period, Canadian sales rose 37 percent, while U.S. sales rose just 0.3 percent. Harley shares closed Monday at $71.62, not far off its 52-week high of $75.87.
Wisconsin VC investments
Badger State start-ups raised nearly $60 million in venture capital funding in 2006, about 5 percent more than the previous year, according to a new report. Nationally, VC firms invested almost $26 billion -- up about 8 percent from 2005.
The first half of the year was slow for young Wisconsin companies, with $17.9 million raised. But the state did better in the last six months of the year, with $20.85 million raised in the third quarter and $19.72 million in the fourth, according to the report, which was released by Ernst & Young LLP and Dow Jones VentureOne. The largest deal of the year was finalized on Dec. 31, when the Madison biotech firm NimbleGen systems Inc. received a $12.5 million shot in the arm.
Glendale-based Strattec Security Corp.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings tumbled almost 60 percent because of low sales demand from the firm's biggest auto-related customers and rising raw materials costs. Net income for the lock systems supplier fell to $1.1 million, or 31 cents per share, compared with $2.7 million, or 71 cents per share, for the same quarter a year ago.
Sales for the three-month period ending Dec. 31 fell 12 percent to $37.9 million compared with $43.3 million for the year-ago period. The company said prices for primary raw materials, mainly zinc and brass, more than doubled compared to the same quarter last year.
The company was also hit by a $366,000 charge to cover severance and separation costs stemming from the relocation of its service products assembly operation from Milwaukee to a Strattec-operated plant in Mexico.
Written exclusively for subscribers. Tuesday Trends is Copyright © 2007.