Harley-Davidson 1Q results mixed, lowers full-year motorcycle shipments outlook



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MILWAUKEE — Harley-Davidson's first-quarter profit edged up, benefiting from a reduced tax rate. But the motorcycle maker's revenue missed expectations and the company lowered its full-year forecast for motorcycle shipments, citing increased discounting among its rivals.

The stock dropped almost 10 percent in afternoon trading Tuesday.

Harley-Davidson earned $269.9 million, or $1.27 per share, for the three months ended March 29. A year earlier it earned $265.9 million, or $1.21 per share.

The latest earnings results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.24 per share.

Harley-Davidson's tax rate was 34.4 percent. That compares with 35 percent in the year-ago period.

The Milwaukee-based company's motorcycle and related products revenue declined to $1.51 billion from $1.57 billion, missing Wall Street forecasts. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.58 billion.

Harley-Davidson said that its revenue softened mostly because of a stronger dollar and slightly lower motorcycle shipments.

The company now anticipates shipping 276,000 to 281,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide this year. Its previous guidance was for 282,000 to 287,000 motorcycles.

"Given the first-quarter retail results, and ongoing, increased levels of aggressive competitive discounting in the U.S. which we expect will continue, we are taking the precautionary step of lowering our estimated growth rate for full-year motorcycle shipments in order to manage supply in line with demand and protect the premium nature of our brand," Chairman, President and CEO Keith Wandell said in a statement.

Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc. fell $6.02, or 9.8 percent, to $55.75 in afternoon trading Tuesday. Its shares are down more than 17 percent over the past year.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on HOG at http://www.zacks.com/ap/HOG

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Keywords: Harley-Davidson, Earnings Report

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