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updated: 7/22/2014 9:45 AM

Harley sinks as annual shipment outlook cut on slower U.S. Sales

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Bloomberg News

Harley-Davidson Inc., the biggest U.S. motorcycle maker, fell the most in almost two years after saying it expects to ship about 9,000 fewer bikes this year.

Harley now forecasts shipments of 270,000 to 275,000 this year, compared with an earlier outlook of as many as 284,000. The shares declined 5.3 percent to $63.55 at 10:06 a.m. New York time, after dropping 6.4 percent in their biggest intraday plunge since August 2012. The Milwaukee-based company's stock had fallen 3.1 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 6.8 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

U.S. dealers sold 16 fewer motorcycles, or 58,225, in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, hurt by bad weather and low demand for the Sportster as buyers await the arrival of the sporty and lightweight new Street 500 and Street 750, which began to arrive at dealers late last month. The company, which has sought to introduce lighter-weight Street bikes and win riders overseas, said worldwide sales of bikes rose by 25 to 90,218.

Net income for the maker of Super Glide and Night Rod motorcycles rose 30 percent to $354.2 million, or $1.62 a share, compared with $271.7 million, or $1.21, a year earlier. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for profit of $1.47 a share.

Revenue excluding financial services rose 12 percent to $1.83 billion from a year earlier. Total sales climbed 12 percent to $2 billion.

Second-quarter gross margin widened to 39.5 percent of sales from 36.9 percent. Operating margin from motorcycles and related products grew to 25.8 percent from 21.9 percent. Harley reaffirmed its forecast for annual operating margin in the motorcycles segment of 17.5 percent to 18.5 percent.

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