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Analyst: ‘Softer-than-expected’ Q1 retail for Harley-Davidson

BMO Capital Markets analyst Gerrick Johnson cites “softer-than-expected retail sales during yet another abnormally chilly first quarter in North America,” in a research note provided to Powersports Business.

Johnson goes on to report that “1Q retail sales may have been softer than expected, but we still sense a good deal of optimism from the dealer network for the upcoming season. Dealers still see good interest in the brand, and are happy with initial success on some of the 2015 model year introductions, such as Road Glide, Freewheeler Trike, Electra Glide Ultra Low, as well as continuation of strong demand for Rushmore baggers like Street Glide. What has also been consistent through the winter are strong sales of CVO models, limited editions with upgraded accessories and larger engines that retail for $30,000-40,000. Outreach efforts, both domestically and abroad, appear to be working. And we also believe that having Street 500 motorcycles in the Rider’s Academy program for a full season will generate incremental sales from new riders.”

BMO continues to rate HOG stock as “Outperform.”

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