Harley-Davidson Rises After Profit Beats Analysts’ Estimate

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Harley-Davidson Inc. climbed the most in nine months after the motorcycle maker reported second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates and affirmed its full-year sales forecast.

The company’s profit of $1.44 a share beat a forecast of $1.39, the average of 18 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Harley said it still expects to ship 276,000 to 281,000 motorcycles for the year after cutting its outlook in April because the company didn’t want to match competitors’ steep discounts. Harley sold 85,170 bikes during the quarter, which was within its forecast range.

The shares closed 5 percent higher at $57.67, for the biggest increase since Oct. 21, 2014.

The Milwaukee-based company said in a statement Tuesday that its second-quarter results, lower than $1.62 a share in the year-ago second quarter, reflect its decision in April to scale back sales projections for 2015. A strong dollar has enabled Harley’s rivals to cut prices on motorcycles made overseas, and the company has cut production to protect its prices and margins.

“We’ve had a tough half with price discounting and competition in the motorcycle market,” said Harley-Davidson CFO John Olin in a company earnings conference call.

Harley posted second-quarter sales of motorcycles and related products of $1.65 billion, missing the average estimate of $1.67 billion.

In addition, Harley-Davidson announced a stock buyback plan last month which was received well by its investors.

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