Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) said Thursday its second-quarter profit raced 9.9% higher, as demand for the company’s motorcycles picked up in the U.S. and international regions.
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Shares leapt 5.1% higher to $58.72 in early morning trading. As of Wednesday’s close, the stock was up 27.2% over the last year.
In recent quarters, the motorcycle maker has reported better profits in the wake of revamping its manufacturing operations to create a smaller but more flexible workforce.
Meanwhile, demand for motorcycles in the U.S. has improved along with recovering home prices, while Harley-Davidson is dedicating more advertising toward women and young men to widen its customer base.
“Harley-Davidson again drove strong financial performance in the second quarter, reflecting the many improvements in operations we have made throughout the Company over the past few years as well as our brand strength globally,” Chief Executive Keith Wandell said in a statement.
Harley-Davidson recorded a second-quarter profit of $271.7 million, up from $247.3 million in the year-ago period. On a per-share basis, earnings were $1.21 versus $1.07 to top Wall Street expectations for $1.18.
Motorcycle and other revenue rose 4% to $1.63 billion, meeting estimates. Consolidated revenues came in at $1.79 billion.
Gross margin widened one percentage point to 36.9%.
Motorcycle shipments were up 5.2% to 90,193, well above the company’s projection of 80,000 to 85,000.
U.S. dealers sold 58,241 motorcycles in the latest quarter, up 4.4% year-over-year. Unit sales grew 12% in the Asia Pacific region and jumped 39% in Latin America.
For the current period, Harley-Davidson said it anticipates shipping 51,000 to 56,000 motorcycles, about level with shipments in the year-ago quarter.
The Milwaukee-based company also noted that it will unveil its 2014 lineup of bikes in less than a month.
Rival Indian Motorcycle, revived by Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII), will take the wraps off its 2014 Chief on Aug. 3 at the famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.