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COVID-19 Forces Harley-Davidson to Withdraw Guidance

By Eric Volkman - Mar 26, 2020 at 7:20PM

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The motorcycle maker is the latest in a growing line of businesses pulling their forecasts.

Motoring along with an increasing number of companies that have done the same, Harley-Davidson (HOG 3.50%) on Thursday said it is withdrawing its current guidance. The reason, of course, is the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The motorcycle maker divulged in a regulatory filing that it is pulling all guidance since "[g]lobally, the continued spread of COVID-19 has led to supply chain destabilization, facility closures, workforce disruption, and volatility in the economy, and its full impact has not yet been ascertained."

Man riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Image source: Harley-Davidson

The company added that a sustained pandemic could hurt it in a variety of ways. It anticipates disruptions in its supply chain, increasing difficulties for dealerships in buying and selling motorcycles and paying back loans to the company, and challenges as buyers similarly have issues making vehicle payments, among other roadblocks.

Previously, within its Q4 fiscal 2019 results, the company provided revenue and operating-profit guidance for the entirety of its current fiscal year. It was modeling revenue of around $4.53 billion to $4.66 billion in the core motorcycles product segment, far and away the bulk of its overall top line. That segment's operating margin was forecast to be 7% to 8%.

Meanwhile, the revenue for the financial services segment was estimated at approximately $789 million, matching 2019's result.  

Harley-Davidson, which can be considered a dividend stock due to its high yield of over 7% at the moment, saw its shares nose forward less than 1% on Thursday. As such, they lagged behind the day's robust bull market.

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