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Harley-Davidson U.S. declined in the most recent quarter: Raymond James

Tonya Garcia

Raymond James analysts estimate that Harley-Davidson Inc. U.S. sales experienced about a 6% decline during the most recent quarter after surveying 20 dealers representing 9% of the motorcycle company's annual domestic retail sales. Last quarter, the drop was 4.2%, the lowest rate of decline for the last nine quarters, according to analysts led by Joseph Altobello. "We should emphasize, however, that our survey results have historically tended to overstate actual retail sales as our sample tends to skew towards larger, more successful dealers, and so we adjust for this bias to arrive at our retail forecast," the note said. Raymond James' dealer discussions also found that a majority of dealers think inventories are "ideal" and used bike prices "are continuing to firm." Raymond James also surveyed dealers for Polaris Industries Inc. motorized vehicles and found a 2% North America sales decline in the second quarter. Raymond James rates Harley-Davidson stock market perform and Polaris stock strong buy. Harley-Davidson shares are up nearly 5% for the year to date, Polaris stock is up 9.6% and the S&P 500 index stock has gained 18.7% for the period.