Harley-Davidson Revs Higher as Motorcycle Giant Resumes Some Manufacturing

Harley-Davidson's stock rises even as the motorcycle maker reports a big first-quarter hit to earnings from the Covid-19 outbreak.
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Shares of Harley-Davidson  (HOG) - Get Report roared ahead Tuesday even as the motorcycle maker missed earnings expectations, slashed its dividend, and reported a big drop in first-quarter sales amid the coronavirus crisis.

Harley-Davidson's stock price jumped 8.41% to $20.50 a share after the Harley manufacturer noted it has resumed manufacturing at some locations and was hammering out safety protocols for a wider reopening.

Harley-Davidson reported earnings per share of 45 cents on net income of just under $69.7 million, down from 80 cents a share on net income of just under $128 million during the first three months of 2019.

Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter rang in at 51 cents, a notch below the 58 cents per share estimated by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Sales of motorcycles and other products weighed in at $1.1 billion, down from $1.2 billion during the first quarter of 2019.

Motorcycle sales, in particular, saw a dramatic reversal, ending down more than 15% for the quarter, with most of the damage occurring during the last two weeks in March as the pandemic hit with full force and the United States and other countries rolled out social distancing measures.

Up until mid-March, motorcycle sales had been on a roll, rising 6.6%, the company noted in its first-quarter earnings release.

In a bid to conserve cash, Harley-Davidson also decided to make a deep cut to its dividend payments, which the company is reducing from 38 cents a share in the first quarter to 2 cents a share in the second quarter.

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