Harley-Davidson loses speed but still beats estimates for quarter

The US motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, which has showrooms in the UAE, on Thursday reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates, but trimmed its shipment outlook due to soft demand in the United States, its biggest market.

Earnings per share increased to US$1.55 from $1.44 a year ago and topped analysts’ expectations of $1.53.

Harley-Davidson’s US market share in the quarter was 49.5 per cent, up 2 points from a year ago.

“We are pleased with our ability to gain market share in the US” the chief executive Matt Levatich said, noting intense domestic competition. Market share was down from the first quarter’s 50.9 per cent.

Harley-Davidson’s domestic sales fell 5.2 per cent in the quarter, while US motorcycle industry sales overall were down 8.6 per cent in the same period.

The company cut its 2016 full-year motorcycle shipment outlook to 264,000 to 269,000 motorcycles. The previous shipment estimate was 269,000 to 274,000 motorcycles.

“While our investments to grow product awareness and ridership globally are beginning to take hold in a number of markets, current conditions in the US and economic headwinds in other parts of the world combine to raise caution,” said Mr Levatich.

The company also decreased its full-year 2016 motorcycle segment operating margin to about 15 to 16 per cent, from 16 to 17 per cent.

The Wisconsin-based company said net income fell to $280.4 million from $299.8 m a year ago.

Revenue was $1.86 billion, up slightly from $1.82bn a year earlier. Analysts were looking for $1.67bn, according to Reuters.

Outstanding shares in the quarter ended June 26 fell to about 181.3 million from 208.6 million in the year-ago period.


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