Shares of Deere & Co. surged 2.8% in premarket trade Friday, after the maker of construction and agricultural equipment beat fiscal first-quarter profit and sales expectations and provided an upbeat outlook. Earnings for the quarter to Jan. 29 fell to $193.8 million, or 61 cents a share, from $254.4 million, or 80 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet earnings-per-share consensus was 56 cents. Net sales slipped to $4.70 billion from $4.77 billion, but was above the FactSet consensus of $4.62 billion, as agriculture and turf and construction and forestry sales both topped expectations. Total revenue rose to $5.63 billion from $5.52 billion, beating expectations of $5.41 billion. Looking ahead, Deere expects 2017 revenue growth of 4%, while the FactSet consensus implies flat revenue. The stock has rallied 19% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.3%.
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