Harley-Davidson cuts outlook on weak U.S. sales, -4.2% premarket

|By:, SA News Editor

Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) -4.2% premarket after cutting its FY 2014 shipment guidance, citing Q2 sales that suffered from prolonged poor weather across parts of the U.S. and soft demand for its low-priced Sportster motorcycles.

HOG now sees shipments of 270K-275K motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2014, a 3.5%-5.5% Y/Y increase but down from previous guidance of 279K-284K and a 7%-9% increase.

The new bikes, which analysts say were supposed to begin appearing in dealer showrooms in May, did not begin to arrive until late June, but HOG did not explain why the bike was delayed.

Otherwise, Q2 earnings were better than expected; HOG says it shipped 92,217 motorcycles to its worldwide network during Q2, a 9% Y/Y increase, and expects to ship 49K-54K bikes in Q3 vs. 54,025 in the year-ago quarter.

HOG's Q2 difficulties did not appear to affect rival motorcycle maker Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII), which also reported higher earnings but raised its full-year forecast.