You've got to hand it to Harley-Davidson
Sure, Harley's always left analysts in the dust: It topped projections each of the last five quarters. But this time, it really smoked 'em.
With consensus estimates pegged at $0.46 a share, Harley saw its bottom line grow by 46% to hit earnings of $0.54 a share. Revenue growth strapped on its helmet and went along for the ride -- soaring 32% to $1.1 billion.
With General Motors
Harley is an icon. It's a legend. The Ford Mustang? Not anymore.
Harley never lost its edge. While most fans of alternative music will bad-mouth a band when it achieves mainstream commercial success, it's still cool to make an annual trek to Sturgis, or to get decked out in Harley gear and accessories, no matter how popular Harley gets. The centennial merchandise is a hot seller, as apparel and collectibles rose by a smart 88% during the quarter.
So Harley revs on. It plans to produce 289,000 motorcycles next year and will churn out 263,000 units this year. As long as demand holds up (and it always seems to when it comes to Harley), it should be an open road for the Milwaukee-based icon.
But maybe the stock is due for a breather. After all, while centennial goodies fly out the door, there's not much marketing power in anniversary 101. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Even the most impressive of rides has to stop and refuel sometimes.