updated 1/19/2006 1:38:02 PM ET 2006-01-19T18:38:02

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. reported Thursday that fourth-quarter profit rose 10 percent as the company benefited from higher sales overseas, pushing its results above Wall Street expectations.

Quarterly earnings grew to $230 million, or 84 cents per share, for the October-December period from $209 million, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 10 percent to $1.34 billion from $1.22 billion, with motorcycle revenue up 10 percent to $1.09 billion. The company said U.S. retail motorcycle sales increased 0.7 percent, while international sales rose 13 percent.

The results topped analysts’ average estimate for earnings of 81 cents per share on revenue of $1.35 billion, according to Thomson Financial.

For the full year, net income rose 8 percent to $959.6 million, or $3.41 per share, from $889.8 million, or $3 per share, in 2004. Revenue grew 7 percent to $5.34 billion from $5.02 billion in the prior year.

“We believe the prospects for retail growth remain strong and support a wholesale unit growth rate in the range of 5 to 9 percent annually and an annual earnings per share growth rate of 11 to 17 percent,” said Chief Executive Jim Ziemer in a statement. “Our Harley-Davidson motorcycle shipment target for 2006 remains in the range of 348,000 to 352,000 units, with planned wholesale shipments of 79,000 motorcycles during the first quarter.”

Analysts expect earnings of $3.68 per share for 2006.

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