Harley-Davidson profit rises, shipment forecast unchanged


Harley-Davidson Inc reported higher quarterly earnings on Tuesday, lifted by the normal summer surge in motorcycle sales in its key North American market, but it kept its full-year forecast for global bike shipments unchanged.

The Milwaukee-based company posted a third-quarter profit of $162.7 million, or 73 cents a share, up from $134.0 million, or 59 cents a share a year before.

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Overall revenue from bikes, parts and accessories, financial services and apparel rose 7 percent to $1.34 billion, the company said.

Worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles rose 15.5 percent, led by a 19 percent jump in North America, where the company sells roughly two-thirds of its bikes.

Harley-Davidson said it still expects to ship 259,000 to 264,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2013.

The company's annual worldwide shipment levels peaked at about 350,000 units in 2006, right before the U.S. housing bubble burst and consumer demand for its motorcycles - which are priced from $8,000 to more than $30,000 - skidded into a ditch along with the broader economy.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)