Harley U.S. retail sales down in July, up in August, analyst says

Retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S. were down 10-15 percent year-over-year in July and are up 4-7 percent year-over-year in August, according to a research note provided to Powersports Business by Wells Fargo Securities analyst Tim Conder.

“Major reasons for down sales in July appear to weather related and low touring inventory (ahead of model year 2013 late August shipments) likely leading to some missed sales, as opposed to significant changes in floor traffic/conversion rates,” Condor reports.

Condor goes on to write that “dealer sentiment combined with weather/inventory shortage reasons for down July sales, improving August sales and easy September comps give us comfort that HOG Q3 2012 U.S. retail sales should be up low-single digits year-over-year (plus 3.3 percent vs. prior 4.0 percent).”

Wells Fargo Securities estimates Harley-Davidson global retail unit sales of 64,081 in the third quarter, which would be its highest third quarter unit sales number since 80,952 bikes were sold in Q3 2008.

Wells Fargo Securities dealer checks led Conder to maintain his Outperform rating on Harley-Davidson shares.

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