71% Decline Reported in First Quarter Earnings by Harley-Davidson

On Tuesday, Harley-Davidson Inc. officially shared that its first-quarter earnings managed to fall by a whopping 71% as sales of its high-end bikes continued to remain slow.

CEO of Harley-Davidson Keith Wandell shared that the uncertain economy has good chances of making business conditions challenging all throughout the year.

Still, the Milwaukee-based company's results have managed to beat the estimates pegged by analysts, and the news sent shares of the firm climbing during pre-market trading. The stock managed to gain as much as 93 cents, or 2.8%, and hit $33.70 in electronic trading before trading session commenced.

Earnings of $33.3 Million, or 14 cents a share, were reported by Harley-Davidson for the three months up-to March 28, which is a substantial drop compared to the profits of $117.3 Million, or 50 cents a share, posted for the same period for the past year.

Revenue declined by 19% to stand at $1.04 Billion.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 22 cents a share in a revenue of $1.02 Billion.

Sounding an optimistic chime, Wandell said, "We are encouraged by our progress in the first quarter. We are seeing directional improvement in our dealers' retail motorcycle sales as we enter the key selling season".