Wall Street Analysts Have Cooled on Harley

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Bernstein may not be so hot on the brand, but we think Harley’s doing just fine.

We usually don’t like to get all boring and business-y with you here on Harley-Davidson Forums. We understand that your bike represents freedom – an escape from the worries of everyday life.

However, we are going to take some time to talk stocks today, since many of you out there own Harley stock, and many more of us are interested in the well-being of the Harley-Davidson brand as a whole.

Stocks are a funny game. Entire fortunes are made and lost on hearsay and speculation. Bernstein, a firm that analyzes stock performance, recently downgraded Harley-Davidson’s previously forecasted market performance.

According to them, demand for motorcycles is waning, so they scaled back their previous rating of “Outperform” to “Market Perform,” meaning that they expect the stock to pretty much stay put.

This news actually caused the stock to dip about 2% in the following day’s trading, but it’s expected to bounce back. Amazing how some suits can decide – in the middle of summer, no less – that “well, nobody’s buying bikes” – and cause a company’s stock value to dip. Kind of a scary thought.

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We’re sure, of course, that the Bernstein analysts know what they’re talking about, but everybody is wrong sometimes. Harley-Davidson is really knocking it out of the park lately, and while it’s true that the current generation is adopting motorcycling less than the ones that came before, The Motor Company is doing everything right to attract new, young customers.

They’re working hard on a multi-faceted approach to attract younger riders – between the rock-solid Street and Sportster lineup, to the popular-with-millennials ’70s aesthetic seen on the Motor Clothes side, to the impending purchase of Ducati, Harley-Davidson knows what young motorcyclists want. They’re doing their best to cater to the young niche enthusiasts that want an American cruiser bike without alienating their core audience. In short, Harley-Davidson is going to be just fine.

For more information, be sure to read the original story on Barron’s.

Cam Vanderhorst is a contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and MB World. He is also a co-host of the Cammed & Tubbed podcast.

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