Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) early Tuesday posted mixed first quarter earnings results and offered a tepid shipment forecast for the second quarter, sending its shares plunging in premarket trading.
The Milwaukee-based heavy motorcycles maker reported Q1 earnings per share (EPS) of $ 1.05, which was $ 0.03 better than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $ 1.02.
Revenues fell 15.7% from last year to $ 1.33 billion, however, missing analysts’ view for $ 1.35 billion.
Harley noted that motorcycle shipments reached 70,831 in the first quarter, toward the top end of its guidance of 66,000 to 71,000. Still, revenues were down substantially amid industry headwinds, along with its decision to cut the number of shipments of 2017 model year bikes. This move was made to help dealers clear out their 2016 inventories.
International retail sales were also down, amid weak sales in Asia Pacific, but helped by solid growth in the Latin America region. Meanwhile, retail sales in EMEA and Canada were both down, hurt by tough comps from last year, when the regions saw big growth.
Looking ahead, HOG forecast Q2 shipments of about 80,000 to 85,000 motorcycles. For the full year, it anticipates shipments to be “flat to down modestly” compared with 2016 levels.
The company attempted to paint a positive picture of its business via press release:
“First quarter U.S. retail sales were in line with our projections and we remain confident in our full-year plan despite international retail sales being down in the first quarter,” said Matt Levatich, CEO, Harley-Davidson. “We are very pleased with our continued growth in U.S. market share and the progress our U.S. dealers made in reducing their inventory of 2016 motorcycles in the quarter.”
Investors were none too pleased with Harley-Davidson’s results, however, sending its shares down $ 3.39 (-5.71%) in premarket trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, HOG had gained 2.47% prior to today’s report, versus a 5.40% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.