posted sales and earnings in the fourth quarter that rose from a year ago and beat analysts' forecasts.
The company said it earned $118.4 million, or 39 cents a share, on revenues of $894.4 million, in the latest fourth quarter, up from earnings of $93.9 million, or 31 cents a share, on revenues of $756.2 million a year ago. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 37 cents a share on revenues of about $872 million in the current quarter.
The company said fourth quarter shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles totaled 63,535 units, up 9,406 units or 17.4%, over the same period last year. The company said gross margin rose to 35.7% from 34.7% a year ago, reflecting a higher percentage of U.S. shipments, favorable product mix and higher motorcycle prices.
Harley said sales of parts and accessories were $110.8 million in the quarter, up 12.5% from a year ago. Its finance arm had fourth-quarter operating income of $17 million, up 31% from a year ago. The company had net accounts receivable of $118.8 million at the end of the quarter, up from $98.3 million a year ago.