Harley management’s messaging ‘stronger than usual’ in Q3, analyst says

Management’s messaging on Harley-Davidson’s third quarter earnings call “was stronger than usual,” according to a research note provided to Powersports Business by RBC Capital Markets analyst Ed Aaron.

“This is the first time we can recall management commenting on intra-quarter trends, and it was the most vocal we can recall hearing CEO Keith Wandell on an earnings call,” Aaron reports. “Our interpretation is that management perceives that the market is not fully appreciating the underlying demand strength and the progress being made on the restructuring and product development fronts.”

Aaron also provided a report on retail results.

“Worldwide retail unit sales (61,053 vs. RBC 61,009) were down about 1.3% in the quarter, reflecting a 5.2% decline in the U.S. and a 7.6% increase internationally. This level of growth represents a deceleration from the +2.8% pace in Q2 and the +20.3% in Q1. While we believe the U.S. retail decline was largely known heading into the quarter, international retail sales served as a positive surprise,” Aaron writes.

Harley-Davidson retail unit sales (down 1.3 percent overall) by region in Q3 were as follows:

U.S.: Down 5.2 percent

Europe: Up 2 percent

Asia/Pacific: Up 10 percent

Latin America: Up 32 percent

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