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Why Harley-Davidson Stock Fell This Morning

By Rich Duprey – Jun 9, 2020 at 12:14PM

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From its early April bottom, the motorcycle maker's stock has risen about halfway back to where it began 2020. But is that renewed optimism warranted?

What happened

Shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG -2.41%) were down 4.8% at noon EDT Tuesday as the market gave up some of the gains it has made over the past week on hopes for a reopened economy.

So what

The iconic motorcycle maker has ridden the market rebound from the depths of the pandemic-induced collapse in March to 85% gains (though it remains down close to 30% on the year), and is likely falling in sympathy with the broader market Tuesday as investors take profits.

Motorcycle riding into the sunset

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Although there is some not-unwarranted optimism that Harley-Davidson management may be getting the company back on the right track, it's way too early to suggest sales will recover.

Management said it was revising its roadmap for recovery, and will focus on the U.S. market and its core products again. Under former CEO Matt Levatich's tenure, the bike maker was attempting to pivot the business toward international markets, younger riders, and electric motorcycles.

Yet Harley has yet to offer up any details on exactly what the new plans will do to reverse its five-year slide in sales. Big bikes and an aging core customer demographic were what got Harley in the situation it's in, so doubling down on them could exacerbate its problems.

Investors won't know what Harley's leadership actually intends until it updates them in July, so the enthusiasm that has been exhibited for its stock is a bit premature.

Rich Duprey 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 Stock Quote
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