Shares of motorcycle icon Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) jumped as much as 9.5% today on better-than-expected earnings results. At 2:30 p.m. EDT, shares were still up 9.3% and gaining for the day.
Revenue fell 4.9% to $1.07 billion as motorcycle unit volume declined 1.2% to 58,522 in the third quarter. Net income fell 24% to $86.6 million, or $0.55 per share.
On an adjusted basis, earnings were $0.70 per share, which topped estimates by $0.03. Investors were also pleased that the capital expenditure plan was reduced by $20 million to between $205 million and $225 million. Full-year guidance of 212,000 to 217,000 units sold and a 6% to 7% operating margin were unchanged.
Investors aren't so much cheering Harley-Davidson's results as they are relieved that the numbers weren't worse. Consumers are still not buying loud motorcycles in the numbers they once did, and we don't see a reversal taking place anytime soon. The risk with a consumer discretionary stock like this is that consumers decide their money is spent better elsewhere, and until that turns around, this will be a high-risk stock. And I'm not seeing enough of a turnaround to jump in today.