Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

Harley-Davidson roars past first-quarter profit forecast

Motorcycle maker topped Wall Street's profit forecasts by more than 30 cents per share as Trump tweets firm is being treated 'unfairly' by EU

Harley-Davidson has tooped estimates as demand grows inoutside US. EPA
Harley-Davidson has tooped estimates as demand grows inoutside US. EPA

Harley-Davidson on Tuesday surged past expectations for first-quarter profit and stuck to its full-year shipment forecasts in the face of concerns over falling US sales and European import tariffs, sending its shares up 3 per cent.

President Donald Trump, who has criticised Harley for its plans to shift some US production overseas, weighed in after the results to say European Union tariffs on the manufacturer were "unfair" and vowed to reciprocate, without giving details.

Harley, while again weighed down by a continuing decline in its popularity both in the United States and globally, topped Wall Street's profit forecasts by more than 30 cents per share, Reuters said.

Earlier this year, Harley said the retaliatory import duties imposed by the European Union on its bikes would cost the company between $100 million and $120m in 2019.

European markets are a growing portion of the Harley's total motorcycle sales. To avoid the additional import duty, it has boosted investment at its Thailand plant to serve that market.

It said US retail motorcycle sales, or sales by dealers to customers, fell 4.2 per cent in the first quarter ended March. 31. European sales were down 2.1 per cent.

The company's overall net income fell 26.7 per cent to $127.9 million in the quarter, while revenue from motorcycles and related products fell 12.3 per cent to $1.19 billion, about in line with forecasts.

That generated earnings per share excluding items of 98 cents, compared with the average analyst estimate of 65 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Harley is still investing in the US It committed to put $65m into its Milwaukee facility and $10m into its Tomahawk, Wisconsin plant as part of a five-year contract with the United Steelworkers that was ratified this month, according to Bloomberg.

Updated: April 23, 2019 04:09 PM

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