Harley-Davidson beats profit estimates, backs full-year forecast

Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and maintained its full-year shipments forecast, despite prolonged weak demand in its home market.

Harley's U.S. retail motorcycle sales, or sales by dealers to customers, fell 8.1 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 24. The company's total global retail sales dipped 6.9 percent.

Still, the Milwaukee-based company said it expects to ship 241,000 to 246,000 motorcycles this year, down 6 percent to 8 percent from a year earlier.

The company's net income fell to $68.2 million, or 40 cents per share in the third quarter, from $114.1 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue from motorcycles and related products fell to $962.1 billion from $1.09 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 39 cents per share and revenue of $953.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)