HARLEY DAVIDSON Current Financial Leverage

HARLEY DAVIDSON's financial leverage is the degree to which the firm utilizes its fixed-income securities and uses equity to finance projects. Companies with high leverage are usually considered to be at financial risk. HARLEY DAVIDSON's financial risk is the risk to HARLEY DAVIDSON stockholders that is caused by an increase in debt. In other words, with a high degree of financial leverage come high-interest payments, which usually reduce Earnings Per Share (EPS).
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Given that HARLEY DAVIDSON's debt-to-equity ratio measures a company's obligations relative to the value of its net assets, it is usually used by traders to estimate the extent to which HARLEY DAVIDSON is acquiring new debt as a mechanism of leveraging its assets. A high debt-to-equity ratio is generally associated with increased risk, implying that it has been aggressive in financing its growth with debt. Another way to look at debt-to-equity ratios is to compare the overall debt load of HARLEY DAVIDSON to its assets or equity, showing how much of the company assets belong to shareholders vs. creditors. If shareholders own more assets, HARLEY DAVIDSON is said to be less leveraged. If creditors hold a majority of HARLEY DAVIDSON's assets, the company is said to be highly leveraged.

HARLEY DAVIDSON Financial Leverage Rating

HARLEY DAVIDSON INC bond ratings play a critical role in determining how much HARLEY DAVIDSON have to pay to access credit markets, i.e., the amount of interest on their issued debt. The threshold between investment-grade and speculative-grade ratings has important market implications for HARLEY DAVIDSON's borrowing costs.

HARLEY DAVIDSON INC Debt to Cash Allocation

As HARLEY DAVIDSON INC follows its natural business cycle, the capital allocation decisions will not magically go away. HARLEY DAVIDSON's decision-makers have to determine if most of the cash flows will be poured back into or reinvested in the business, reserved for other projects beyond operational needs, or paid back to stakeholders and investors. Many companies eventually find out that there is only so much market out there to be conquered, and adding the next product or service is only half as profitable per unit as their current endeavors. Eventually, the company will reach a point where cash flows are strong, and extra cash is available but not fully utilized. In this case, the company may start buying back its stock from the public or issue more dividends.
The company has accumulated 7.11 B in total debt with debt to equity ratio (D/E) of 3.26, implying the company greatly relies on financing operations through barrowing. HARLEY DAVIDSON INC has a current ratio of 1.26, suggesting that it is in a questionable position to pay out its financial obligations in time and when they become due. Debt can assist HARLEY DAVIDSON until it has trouble settling it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. So, HARLEY DAVIDSON's shareholders could walk away with nothing if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt. However, a more frequent occurrence is when companies like HARLEY DAVIDSON INC sell additional shares at bargain prices, diluting existing shareholders. Debt, in this case, can be an excellent and much better tool for HARLEY to invest in growth at high rates of return. When we think about HARLEY DAVIDSON's use of debt, we should always consider it together with cash and equity.

HARLEY DAVIDSON Assets Financed by Debt

Typically, companies with high debt-to-asset ratios are said to be highly leveraged. The higher the ratio, the greater risk will be associated with the HARLEY DAVIDSON's operation. In addition, a high debt-to-assets ratio may indicate a low borrowing capacity of HARLEY DAVIDSON, which in turn will lower the firm's financial flexibility. Like all other financial ratios, a a HARLEY DAVIDSON debt ratio should be compared their industry average or other competing firms.

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When running HARLEY DAVIDSON INC price analysis, check to measure HARLEY DAVIDSON's market volatility, profitability, liquidity, solvency, efficiency, growth potential, financial leverage, and other vital indicators. We have many different tools that can be utilized to determine how healthy HARLEY DAVIDSON is operating at the current time. Most of HARLEY DAVIDSON's value examination focuses on studying past and present price action to predict the probability of HARLEY DAVIDSON's future price movements. You can analyze the entity against its peers and financial market as a whole to determine factors that move HARLEY DAVIDSON's price. Additionally, you may evaluate how the addition of HARLEY DAVIDSON to your portfolios can decrease your overall portfolio volatility.
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What is Financial Leverage?

Financial leverage is the use of borrowed money (debt) to finance the purchase of assets with the expectation that the income or capital gain from the new asset will exceed the cost of borrowing. In most cases, the debt provider will limit how much risk it is ready to take and indicate a limit on the extent of the leverage it will allow. In the case of asset-backed lending, the financial provider uses the assets as collateral until the borrower repays the loan. In the case of a cash flow loan, the general creditworthiness of the company is used to back the loan. The concept of leverage is common in the business world. It is mostly used to boost the returns on equity capital of a company, especially when the business is unable to increase its operating efficiency and returns on total investment. Because earnings on borrowing are higher than the interest payable on debt, the company's total earnings will increase, ultimately boosting stockholders' profits.

Leverage and Capital Costs

The debt to equity ratio plays a role in the working average cost of capital (WACC). The overall interest on debt represents the break-even point that must be obtained to profitability in a given venture. Thus, WACC is essentially the average interest an organization owes on the capital it has borrowed for leverage. Let's say equity represents 60% of borrowed capital, and debt is 40%. This results in a financial leverage calculation of 40/60, or 0.6667. The organization owes 10% on all equity and 5% on all debt. That means that the weighted average cost of capital is (.4)(5) + (.6)(10) - or 8%. For every $10,000 borrowed, this organization will owe $800 in interest. Profit must be higher than 8% on the project to offset the cost of interest and justify this leverage.

Benefits of Financial Leverage

Leverage provides the following benefits for companies:
  • Leverage is an essential tool a company's management can use to make the best financing and investment decisions.
  • It provides a variety of financing sources by which the firm can achieve its target earnings.
  • Leverage is also an essential technique in investing as it helps companies set a threshold for the expansion of business operations. For example, it can be used to recommend restrictions on business expansion once the projected return on additional investment is lower than the cost of debt.
By borrowing funds, the firm incurs a debt that must be paid. But, this debt is paid in small installments over a relatively long period of time. This frees funds for more immediate use in the stock market. For example, suppose a company can afford a new factory but will be left with negligible free cash. In that case, it may be better to finance the factory and spend the cash on hand on inputs, labor, or even hold a significant portion as a reserve against unforeseen circumstances.

The Risk of Financial Leverage

The most obvious and apparent risk of leverage is that if price changes unexpectedly, the leveraged position can lead to severe losses. For example, imagine a hedge fund seeded by $50 worth of investor money. The hedge fund borrows another $50 and buys an asset worth $100, leading to a leverage ratio of 2:1. For the investor, this is neither good nor bad -- until the asset price changes. If the asset price goes up 10 percent, the investor earns $10 on $50 of capital, a net gain of 20 percent, and is very pleased with the increased gains from the leverage. However, if the asset price crashes unexpectedly, say by 30 percent, the investor loses $30 on $50 of capital, suffering a 60 percent loss. In other words, the effect of leverage is to increase the volatility of returns and increase the effects of a price change on the asset to the bottom line while increasing the chance for profit as well.