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Harley-Davidson Revenue Climbs

The company maintains its motorcycle shipment goals for 2006.
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said fourth-quarter revenue, driven by higher international sales, jumped 9.9% from last year, and the company stayed with its motorcycle shipment goals for 2006.

The Milwaukee-based bike maker said revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 reached $1.34 billion, compared with $1.22 billion in the year-ago period. Harley had a profit of $230 million, or 84 cents a share, up from $209 million and 71 cents a share last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 81 cents a share and a top line of $1.35 billion in the quarter.

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Revenue for the full year was $5.34 billion, compared with $5.02 billion in 2004, a 6.5% increase. Harley said it shipped 329,000 motorcycles in 2005, up 3.7% from the year before.

"We believe the prospects for retail growth remain strong and support a wholesale unit growth rate in the range of 5 to 9 percent annually and an annual EPS growth rate of 11 to 17 percent," the company said in a press release Thursday.

The company maintained its Harley-Davidson motorcycle shipment target for 2006 of 348,000 to 352,000 units, with planned wholesale shipments of 79,000 motorcycles during the first quarter.

Worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles rose 3% for the fourth quarter and 6.2% for all of 2005. U.S. retail sales edged up 0.7% in the fourth quarter, but climbed 4.2% for the year. Internationally, fourth-quarter retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 13% year over year and 15% for 2005.

Shares of Harley-Davidson tacked on 12 cents to $51.75 in premarket trading.