Harley-Davidson profit accelerates

/ Source: The Associated Press

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. on Wednesday said its profit rose 3 percent in the first quarter, in line with Wall Street expectations and helped by motorcycle sales growth in the United States and abroad.

For the quarter ended March 26, income increased to $234.6 million, or 86 cents per share, compared with $227.2 million, or 77 cents per share, during the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 4 percent to $1.29 billion from $1.24 billion in the prior year.

Results fell in line with analyst expectations, who, on average, were expecting earnings of 86 cents per share on sales of $1.29 billion, according to a poll conducted by Thomson Financial.

Motorcycle sales increased by about 6 percent in the U.S. and almost 12 percent in international markets during the quarter, Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson said.

“With the increased seasonality in our business, we are pleased with this retail sales performance,” said Jim Ziemer, the company’s president and chief executive officer.