After Harley-Davidson posted better-than-expected earnings, boosted by a rebound in its finance unit, the company posted a profit from continuing operations of $139.3 million, or 59 cents a share, beating the 41 cents expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
Retail sales fell during the quarter, but declines slowed from the prior four quarters. Operating income at Harley’s financial services unit surged to $60.8 million, compared to a loss of $90.5 million in the same period a year ago. Today (Wall Street still not closed) shares of Harley (HOG) jumped $2.70 to $26.31. It was up as much as 15%, at $27.15, before pulling back. Harley shares are higher for 2010, up about 4.5%, and up about 35% for the last 12-month period.