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Why Harley-Davidson's Shares Popped 8.8% Today

By Travis Hoium - Oct 22, 2019 at 2:59PM

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Earnings were better than expected, but that doesn't say a lot.

What happened

Shares of motorcycle icon Harley-Davidson (HOG 0.43%) 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.

So what

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.

Motorcycle rider on open road.

Image source: Getty Images.

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.

Now what

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.

Travis Hoium has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Harley-Davidson, Inc. Stock Quote
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