Shares of Deere & Co. fell 1.3% in premarket trade, after the farm equipment maker beat fiscal first-quarter profit expectations, as strength in its construction and forestry business helped offset weakness in its agricultural business, but lowered its equipment sales outlook for the year. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, earnings fell to $386.8 million, or $1.12 a share, from $681.1 million, or $1.81 a share, in the year-earlier period. The FactSet consensus analyst estimate was for earnings per share of 82 cents. Total revenue fell to $6.38 billion from $7.65 billion, as equipment sales dropped 19% to $5.61 billion, compared with analyst forecasts of $6.09 billion and $5.49 billion, respectively. For fiscal 2015, Deere said it now expects equipment sales to fall 17% from a year ago, compared with a previous projection of a 15% decline. The stock has gained 7.4% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has advanced 2.2%.
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