It has been a rough couple of weeks for Milwaukee-based companies.
Things started with Harley-Davidson. On April 13th, the motorcycle maker announced earnings were up 11% but that sales were flat. They lower 2005 earnings expectations and said they would cut production. The stock has dropped 22% since the announcement.
Yesterday, the highly recognized Midwest Airlines announced losses of 91 cents per share for the first quarter. They said fuel prices are up 36% over last year. On a positive note, they saw revenues grow almost 11%. Midwest’s stock is down almost 10% since the announcement.
Harley got hit because people didn’t expect the flat sales. They’ll be fine.
Midwest on the other hand I am worried about. They lost $15.9 million dollars this quarter. The company is only worth $31 million at this point. I am not sure how they can survive in this environment of high fuel costs and no ability to raise prices. I am flying with them in both June and July to do my little bit. There is improved quality of life here by having a local airline that flies direct to big cities. There is nothing that beats their Signature service. I wish them luck in the months ahead.