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Harley-Davidson stock zooms 9% on bike sales

July 19, 2011: 4:52 PM ET
Harley-Davidson stock

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Harley-Davidson pulled a wheelie on Wall Street today. Shares of the motorcycle giant shot up 9% Tuesday after it reported that U.S. bike sales rose on an annual basis for the first time in nearly five years. Shares closed at $45.11, up $3.70 on the day.

Dealers sold more than 53,000 new motorcycles in the U.S. during the second quarter, up 7.5% from a year ago and the first year-over-year quarterly rise since the fourth quarter of 2006. Global sales climbed almost 6% during the period.

The strong sales helped the Milwaukee-based company boost its second-quarter profit nearly 40% from a year earlier to $190.6 million, or 81 cents per share, as overall revenues rose 18% to $1.34 billion.

The results blew past Wall Street's expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for the company to earn 71 cents per share for the quarter, on revenue of $1.26 billion.

Harley-Davidson (HOG, Fortune 500) also lifted its guidance for the year. The company expects to ship up to 235,000 new motorcycles to distributors worldwide this year, up 12% from 2010. At the end of the first quarter, Harley's most optimistic forecast called for an 8% rise in shipments for the year.  To top of page

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