Harley-Davidson shares tumble on steep revenue drop

Harley-Davidson’s stock took a nasty spill Tuesday after the company reported a steep drop in revenues — fresh evidence that it’s still struggling to lure younger buyers for its heavy, chrome-plated hogs.

Shares in the iconic motorcycle maker — which has publicly battled with President Trump over its plans to take some manufacturing overseas — dropped as much as 7 percent on Tuesday after it revealed its revenues sank 8.5 percent to $874 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

The revenue drop was more than twice the 3.7 percent decline that analysts expected. Harley’s stock pared its losses later in the morning to trade down 3.8 percent at $33.50 as of 10:53 a.m.

Milwaukee-based Harley’s US retail sales fell for the 12th straight quarter at the end of 2019, off 3.1 percent from a year ago to 20,204 motorcycles. Worldwide, Harley sold 38,754 bikes, a 1.4 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2018.

Sales in Europe, the Middle East and Asia saw a smaller drop in the fourth quarter, falling 2.3 percent to 7,187. The Asia Pacific region was the only market where Harley saw growth last quarter — sales there rose 6.2 percent to 7,691.

The company’s performance was “in line with our expectations and indicative of increased business stability driven by the tremendous efforts of our employees and dealers,” Harley president and CEO Matt Levatich said in a statement.

Trump encouraged bikers to boycott Harley-Davidson in 2018 after the company said it planned to move some manufacturing overseas in response to European Union tariffs on imported motorcycles. The EU imposed the tariffs after the US slapped levies on European steel and aluminum imports.

But the president appeared to soften his stance toward Harley last spring, when he pledged to protect the company from European tariffs.

“So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!” Trump tweeted in April.

With Post wires

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