) were higher after the maker of motorcycles posted third quarter EPS of $0.36 versus $0.27 a year ago, on a 19% rise in sales. Banc of America raised its estimates on the company.
Analyst Gary Cooper notes the results beat the Street consensus by $0.03. The upside primarily was due to a 2% gross margin increase, and 70% higher income from its financial services business. He added third quarter core production increased 18% to 56,611. Cooper maintained his fourth quarter EPS estimate of $0.36, and raised his fourth quarter unit estimate to roughly 61,600 bikes, in line with the company's guidance. He also raised his 2001 EPS estimate to $1.40 from $1.37, and 2002 estimate to $1.63 from $1.60. His price target for the stock is $56, and he has a buy rating on the shares.