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RBC analyst: Harley’s March sales drop mid-to-high teens

March sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles were down roughly in the mid-to-high teens, RBC Capital Markets analyst Edward Aaron reported in an analysis provided to Powersports Business.

Though March sales are down, they were competing against the same period in 2012, which was up about 30 percent. Weather was a determining factor in Q1, which saw an 8-10 percent decline in U.S. retail registrations.

“Dealers in the more seasonal northern markets (Midwest and Northeast regions) commonly reported declines in the 30 percent range. Dealer feedback in less seasonal markets was somewhat mixed but far less dramatic than what we observed in the more seasonal markets,” Aaron reported.

Though Q1 usually accounts for 21.4 percent of full-year retail sales, Aaron is still confident in Harley’s outlook for 2013.

“We believe 2013 guidance and Street estimates for Harley assume that U.S. retail sales will increase roughly mid single-digits for the full year. A review of historical seasonal sales patterns and dealer feedback on growth expectations leads us to see no real change to full-year growth expectations for Harley,” Aaron wrote.

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