Harley-Davidson (HOG) is expected to report Q1 earnings before the market open on Wednesday, April 25 with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET.
Analysts are looking for EPS of 72c on revenue of $1.22B. The consensus range is 65c-76c for EPS, and revenue of $1.17B-$1.26B, according to First Call. In January, Harley-Davidson forecast shipping 240,000-245,000 motorcycles worldwide in 2012, a 3%-5% increase from 2011, and about 58,00-63,000 motorcycles in Q1. Harley forecast FY12 tax rate of approximately 35.5%, gross margin 34.75%-35.75% and FY12 CapEx $190M-$210M. The company also said restructuring costs would be $50M-$60M for the year, with $500M-$520M in restructuring costs through 2013. Harley-Davidson recently confirmed a Motorcycle Industry Council report that said U.S. retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles by independent dealers were up 25.5% for 1Q12 vs. 1Q11.
Citi thinks the strong U.S. retail sales strength it was expecting is now priced into the stock, but continues to like shares of Harley-Davidson over the next few quarters. The firm's latest channel checks indicate Harley-Davidson's April U.S. retail sales are trending up 10%-15%. Longbow said Harley's retail sales were up 26% during the quarter, better than the 17% the firm believes the Street was expecting, and the best growth since Q3 2003. During the quarter, shares were upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup and to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital.