Harley-Davidson shares surge after estimate boost

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc HOG.N roared on Monday to their highest level in almost 2-1/2 years after an analyst raised his price target for the motorcycle maker's shares to $36 from $32.

Harley’s first-quarter results could reverse a recent trend of earnings disappointment as retail sales show evidence of improvement and bike pricing firms, wrote RBC Capital Markets analyst Edward Aaron in a client note.

The company’s shares were up 6.7 percent at $30.29 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Harley’s shares also surged recently on speculation that the company could be a target of a leveraged buyout.

At least one analyst dismissed the deal as unlikely, but the possibility sent the shares up 6 percent in mid-March.

Reporting by Helen Chernikoff, editing by Gerald E. McCormick