Deere & Co. Profit Tops Estimates In Weak Farm Economy

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Deere & Co. said Friday it had net income of $254.4 million, or 80 cents a share, in its first fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31, down from $386.8 million, or $1.12 per share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell 13% to $5.53 billion, while sales of equipment fell to $4.78 billion from $5.61 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 71 cents and revenue of $4.89 billion. "John Deere's first-quarter results reflected the continuing impact of the downturn in the global farm economy as well as weakness in construction equipment markets," Chief Executive Samuel R. Allen said in a statement. Looking ahead, Deere is expecting full-year equipment sales to fall about 10%, and to be down about 8% in the second quarter. Full-year net income is forecast at about $1.3 billion. Shares were down about 2% in premarket trade, and are down 12% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 is down about 9%.

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