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Why Shares of Harley-Davidson Are Down Today

By Lou Whiteman - Mar 6, 2020 at 11:16AM

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The stock has reached levels unseen since 2010.

What happened

On Friday, shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG 0.70%) fell to levels unseen since 2010, as concerns  about issues ranging from motorcycle demand to management turmoil to the possible impact on sales from the COVID-19 coronavirus continue to weigh on the stock. The stock was down roughly 5% at 11:15 a.m.

So what

Harley-Davidson shares have lost more than half of their value over the past three years, as five consecutive years of falling sales and lower overall demand for motorcycles was made worse by the 2019 tariff battles with China.

The motorcycle retailer has tried to counter the trend by introducing lower-priced bikes, the moves so far have not done much to help Harley gain momentum.

A man with his head on his desk; a downward-sloping chart is behind him

Image source: Getty Images.

Harley-Davidson a week ago announced CEO Matt Levatich was stepping down, hopefully bringing some much-needed new thinking into the executive suite. But the company also faces fresh challenges as investors worry that the novel coronavirus will push the U.S. economy into a recession, potentially constraining disposable income and lowering the number of potential buyers.

Now what

With the decline, Harley-Davidson now pays an intriguing 5.6% dividend yield. But without some catalyst to get sales moving in the right direction, there isn't much reason for investors to get excited about the company's future.

Harley-Davidson shares might be close to bottoming out, but there is nothing to say the stock won't remain at these levels for some time to come.

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