NEW YORK (AP) -- Harley-Davidson Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit slid 84 percent on fewer motorcycle shipments and recession-related difficulties in getting loans for its customers.
The motorcycle manufacturer also plans to stop making Buell motorcycle products and will sell its MV Agusta division as it looks to concentrate efforts more on its namesake brand.
"We believe we can create a bright long-term future for our stakeholders through a single-minded focus on the Harley-Davidson brand," CEO Keith Wandell said in a statement.
The Milwaukee-based company will sell off its remaining Buell inventory, including motorcycles, accessories and apparel, through its authorized dealerships while supplies last. Dealerships will continue to provide replacement parts and service for Buell bikes, with warranty coverage continued as well. The line's closing will likely result in a $125 million one-time cost for Harley-Davidson, with approximately $115 million expected this year.
The move means about 100 salaried workers and about 80 hourly positions will be eliminated, with most of the cuts occurring by Dec. 18.
Shares fell 80 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $25.46 in electronic premarket trading.
Harley-Davidson -- which has already implemented production and job cuts this year -- earned $26.5 million, or 11 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 27, down from $166.5 million, or 71 cents per share, a year ago.
Quarterly results included a $14.2 million, one-time fixed-asset impairment charge for Buell and an $18.9 million goodwill impairment charge related to its plan to sell off Varese, Italy-baesd MV Agusta, which is known for its sport motorcycles.
Accounting for Buell and MV Agusta, Harley-Davidson now expects restructuring charges of $215 million to $245 million between 2009 and 2010 -- a $55 million increase from its prior forecast. Annual savings from the restructuring efforts are targeted between $140 million and $150 million.
Third-quarter sales dropped 21 percent to $1.12 billion from $1.42 billion, but its retail motorcycle sales decline of 21.3 percent was not as steep as the previous quarter's 30.1 percent dropoff.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, whose estimates typically exclude one-time items, forecast profit of 21 cents per share on revenue of $1.1 billion.
Harley-Davidson said the economic downturn has crimped the retail and wholesale loan performance of lending arm, Harley-Davidson Financial Services. The unit has struggled as tighter credit markets have made it harder for customers to get loans and it has had a difficult time bundling and selling "securitized" loans, which it has relied on for funding.
The financial services division posted an operating loss of $31.5 million for the quarter on increased interest expense and a higher provision for credit losses in its retail and wholesale portfolios.
Harley-Davidson also narrowed its full-year motorcycle shipment expectations. The company now anticipates shipping 222,000 to 227,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers, including 35,000 to 40,000 during the fourth quarter. Previously, the bike maker estimated it would ship between 212,000 and 228,000 motorcycles to its dealers and distributors worldwide for the year.