What happened

There's nothing like an earnings beat to put some real horsepower into your stock. This was the case with motorcycle king Harley-Davidson (HOG -0.36%) on Thursday; the company's very convincing top- and bottom-line beats pushed its share price up by nearly 8% in late afternoon trading.

So what

On Thursday morning, Harley-Davidson unveiled its second-quarter figures, and investors were impressed with the numbers despite the fact that revenue actually dropped by 4% on a year-over-year basis, to land just under $1.47 billion.

The bottom line was a different story. In contrast to revenue, it increased across that one-year span, improving at an almost 5% clip to nearly $216 million, or $1.46 per share.

Both headline figures left analyst estimates in the slow lane. On average, prognosticators tracking Harley-Davidson stock were anticipating only $1.25 billion on the top line and $1.12 per share for net income.

Both investors and analysts were fully justified in expecting a worse performance. In May, the specialty vehicle maker surprisingly -- and somewhat opaquely -- announced it was shuttering the production of most of its bikes for a two-week period due to concerns about a "regulatory compliance matter."

Now what

With that weird pause now diminishing in the rearview mirror, Harley-Davidson is reiterating its guidance for the entirety of 2022. For the year, the company believes it will post annual revenue growth of 5% to 10%, with operating income margin coming in at 11% to 12%. A net-profit forecast was not provided.

Harley-Davidson added the caveat that "The outlook continues to assume that manufacturing, logistics and material costs moderately improve in the back-half of the year as overall operations performance stabilizes and we get beyond the peak levels of inflation experienced in 2021."