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Deere's earnings rise but challenges ahead

Keywords: Tags  Deere, earnings results, Samuel Allen, construction, agricultural equipment, industrial equipment, Corinna Petry


CHICAGO — Agricultural and industrial equipment maker Deere & Co. posted higher net income and revenue in its fiscal first quarter ended Jan. 31, but its outlook remains cautious.

Net income for the quarter rose 21.9 percent to nearly $650 million on a 9.7-percent increase in global revenue to $7.42 billion, the Moline, Ill.-based company said Feb. 13.

"With our 11th consecutive quarter of record earnings, Deere has started 2013 on a positive note and is setting the stage for another successful year," chairman and chief executive officer Samuel R. Allen said in a statement released with the company’s earnings results.

U.S. and Canadian equipment sales rose 18 percent for the quarter. Outside the region, net sales rose 2 percent.

Equipment operations reported an operating profit of $837 million for the quarter, up 19.9 percent year on year, as a result of higher shipping volumes and price realization. Increased production costs were related primarily to overhead expenses for manufacturing in support of growth, new products and emissions requirements for engines, Deere said.

Deere projects equipment sales will rise about 6 percent in fiscal 2013 and will be up about 4 percent for the second quarter vs. the same fiscal 2012 periods.

While Deere aims to continue on its path of growing profitability, persistent global economic and fiscal concerns warrant continued caution, the company said.

"(Our) near-term outlook is being tempered by uncertainties over fiscal, economic and trade issues that are undermining business confidence and restraining growth," Allen said.


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