Shares of Harley-Davidson fell sharply Wednesday after the motorcycle giant's second-quarter sales figures fell short of Wall Street's estimates.
Sales were particularly weak in Europe, where dealers sold just 14,639 motorcycles, 9% fewer than last year.
"We continue to remain cautious in our expectations for retail sales globally in an environment of greater economic uncertainty, including in Europe where sales are clearly being affected by the challenging eurozone economy," said CEO Keith Wandell.
While U.S. motorcycles sales rose 4% during the quarter, that pace of growth was much slower than the 25% jump booked in the first quarter. But Wandell said the company expected "moderated" sales growth since an unusually warm early spring in the United States pulled some sales into the first quarter.
Overall, revenue generated by motorcycles and related products rose 17% to $1.57 billion during the third quarter. But that missed analysts' targets for revenue of $1.63 billion. Harley-Davidson's profit jumped 30% to $247.3 million, or $1.07 per share, beating forecasts by 2 cents.>
During the third quarter, Harley-Davidson expects to ship 51,000 to 56,000 motorcycles, down 9% to 17% from a year earlier, due to production changes at one of its major plants.
Harley Davidson maintained its forecast to ship between 245,000 to 250,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2012, marking a year-over-year increase of 5% to 7%.
Harley-Davidson's (HOG) stock tumbled more than 12% to an 8-month low early Wednesday, before paring some of the losses. Shares were down about 4% in afternoon trading.
The stock was among 140 stocks that the New York Stock Exchange was looking at in light of a series of bizarre trading moves that occurred during early trading due to "a technology issue" at Knight Capital Group (KCG).
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