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(HOG) - Get Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG) Report

said first-quarter earnings soared to $119.3 million, or 51 cents a share, from $33.3 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier as worldwide sales of motorcycles rose 3.5% and operating income at its financial division skyrocketed.

Harley-Davidson said operating income from financial services climbed 154.6% from a year earlier.

First-quarter revenue rose to $1.06 billion from $1.04 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected Harley-Davidson to earn 53 cents a share in the quarter.

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"We are pleased by the growth of our dealers' new motorcycle sales on a worldwide basis, led by strength in Europe, even as we continue to encounter some headwinds in the U.S. related to the challenging macro-economic conditions," said Harley-Davidson President and CEO Keith Wandell, in a statement Tuesday.

The motorcycle maker said it was "maintaining a cautious outlook for the year."

The company said it expects to ship 215,000 to 228,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles in 2011, compared to its prior shipment guidance of 221,000 to 228,000 motorcycles. The company said the move is related to "what it believes will be a modest level of supply chain interruption to the xompany arising from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan."

In the second quarter, Harley-Davidson expects to ship 62,000 to 67,000 motorcycles.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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