Harley-Davidson Profits Almost Triple

Published by: Frank Galvano on 19th Apr 2011 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano
harley davidson logo.jpg
Harley-Davidson Profits Almost Triple

Harley-Davidson posted its first-quarter results Tuesday, posting profits that nearly tripled from a year ago, though sales in the US continue to lag and will likely continue to do so while the company renovates its manufacturing operations.  Harley posted net profit for the three months ended March 31st of $119.3 million, up sharply from the $33.3 million profit it posted in the first quarter of 2010.  The company's per share earnings of 51 cents, however, failed to match analysts' consensus estimate of 55 cents per share.

Harley also reduced its outlook for motorcycle shipments this year, as a precaution, in case its production is affected by parts shortages related to the earthquake in Japan.  The company said its profits in the quarter were driven mainly by its financial services division, which enjoyed a boost in operating income of more than 150 percent in the quarter.  It also enjoyed a boost of 3.5 percent in global sales in the quarter, offsetting weakness in US sales, which declined 0.5 percent.

The company's outlook for total motorcycle shipments in 2010 was revised downward to a range of 215,000 to 228,000 from previous guidance of 221,000 to 228,000.  Shares of Harely-Davidson dropped 81 cents, or 2 percent, to $38.90 in premarket trading after results were posted.

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