Harley-Davidson 1st-quarter profit jumps 30%
By Saabira Chaudhuri
Harley-Davidson Inc.’s HOG +2.09% first-quarter profit jumped 30% as the company benefited from lower restructuring charges, while revenue and shipments logged strong growth.
Harley-Davidson had recently seen shipments decline amid disruptions to production amid upgrades at its largest plant. However, Chief Executive Keith Wandell in January said the restructuring of Harley’s manufacturing operations was “largely behind” the company.
The company expects savings of about $305 million this year from restructuring activities initiated since 2009, rising to annual ongoing savings of about $320 million beginning in 2014.
For the quarter, Harley-Davidson reported a profit of $224.1 million, or 99 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $172 million, or 74 cents a share. The latest quarter included restructuring charges of $2.9 million, down from $11.5 million in the prior-year period.
Revenue increased 11% to $1.41 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $1.46 billion.
Gross margin widened to 36.7% from 35.9%.
Motorcycle shipments rose 17% to 75,222, in line with the company’s estimate of 71,000 to 76,000, which it had noted reflects the implementation of surge production at its York plant in the first half of the year.
Harley-Davidson expects to ship 80,000 to 85,000 motorcycles in the second quarter, in line with the year-ago period.
Shares of the company, which backed its shipment view for the year, rose 1.1% to $53.80 in light premarket trading. The stock has risen 9% so far this year.