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Harley-Davidson reports 27% quarterly drop in profits

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A Harley-Davidson Motorcycle
A Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Harley-Davidson reports a 27 percent drop in its quarterly profits – but the company’s stock still jumped by 8 percent Tuesday, on news of an improved distribution system.

The Milwaukee motorcycle legend had a net income of $134 million from July through September – down from $184 million at the same time a year ago.

Earnings fell from 78 cents a share to 59 cents. And revenues dropped by $150 million to $1.25 billion.

Harley said its U.S. dealers had fewer new bikes to sell during the last quarter. That’s because the firm revamped its production system in York Pennsylvania – and Harley decided to roll out its new models in late August instead of July.

CEO Keith Wandell said Harley’s summer sales were affected by, “the lack of product availability.” But the firm still projects an increase in total motorcycle shipments for the year as a whole, of 5 to 7 percent from 2011.

A quarter-million Harley bikes are expected to be shipped throughout the world – and production is projected to keep rising in the first half of next year. 

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