Harley-Davidson Inc.’s stock soared 9% Thursday, putting it on track for its highest close in almost two years, after the motorcycle company crushed earnings estimates for the fourth quarter. The move put the stock
on track for its highest close since it ended at $51.96 on May 17, 2021.
The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company managed to rebound from a production shutdown in May 2022, after a third-party supplier said it had a regulatory compliance matter relating to a component. That forced Harley-Davidson to suspend production for a two-week period. Motorcycle shipments rose 18% in the quarter over same period a year earlier, propelling revenue up 12%, to $1.142 billion from $1.016 billion a year ago. That was ahead of the FactSet consensus of $918 million. The beat came during what is typically a seasonally weak period, as motorcycle riders await the launch of new models in the new year. “Compared to our estimate, better top-line performance (which benefited from strong unit growth and favorable pricing) alongside manufacturing leverage and operating cost control helped drive upside in the quarter,” said William Blair analysts, who have a market-perform rating on the stock. The report was the first under the company’s new three-segment structure: Harley-Davidson Motor Company, or HDMC, which comprises design, manufacturing, marketing and sales of the company’s motorcycles and related products; Harley-Davidson Financial Services, or HDFS, which provides fina …