Harley-Davidson Inc. reported lower quarterly earnings Tuesday as the company launched a new manufacturing system in York, Pa., that temporarily reduced motorcycle production.
Net earnings fell to $134 million, or 59 cents per share, from $183.6 million, or 78 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 fell to $1.25 billion from $1.40 billion a year earlier.
The company kept its full-year forecast, which calls for a 5% to 7% increase in the number of motorcycles it ships to dealers, with gross margins of 34.75% to 35.75%.
Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles fell 1.3% in the recent quarter, with unit sales down 5.2% in the United States. Unit sales were up 7.6% in international markets.
In a news release, Keith Wandell, chairman, president and CEO said: "We believe our U.S. dealers' third-quarter new motorcycle sales were adversely affected by a limited availability of new motorcycles in July, August and early September resulting from the (new production system) implementation at York combined with the move of Harley-Davidson's annual new model launch to late August from late July. As U.S. dealer inventory returned to more appropriate levels and the new 2013 motorcycles became more available, retail sales responded positively and gained momentum as we exited the quarter."
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