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Weak U.S. Market Sends Harley-Davidson Profits Sliding

Lower levels of demand are bad news for the iconic Milwaukee manufacturer.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

NEW YORK (AP) — Profit continued to slide at Harley-Davidson during the third quarter as sales slowed faster in the U.S., it's biggest market, than anywhere else other than Latin America. Earnings fell 40 percent to $68.2 million, or 40 cents per share, though that matched Wall Street expectations, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue fell 11.8 percent to $962.1 million, a trail-off that was not as bad as the revenue of $960.8 million industry analysts had expected. "The continued weakness in the U.S. motorcycle industry only heightens our resolve and the intensity we are bringing to the quest to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders," said President and CEO Matt Levatich.

Sales fell in every region, globally, led by Latin America with a decline of 11.5 percent. U.S. sales, the company's most important market, had an 8.1 percent decline. Motorcycle shipments fell 6.9 percent worldwide. The Milwaukee company expects shipments to fall between six and eight percent in 2017.

Share values of Harley-Davidson Inc. have decreased 20 percent since the beginning of the year.

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