Deere Reports Record Third-Quarter Earnings

The John Deere 4940 Sprayer.
The John Deere 4940 Sprayer.

Deere & Co. has announced worldwide net income attributable to Deere & Co. of $788.0 million, or $1.98 per share, for the third quarter ending July 31, compared with $712.3 million, or $1.69 per share, for the same period last year.

For the first nine months of the year, net income attributable to Deere & Co. was $2.377 billion, or $5.88 per share, compared with $2.130 billion, or $5.01 per share, last year.

Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 15%, to $9.590 billion, for the third quarter and rose 13% to $26.365 billion for nine months. Net sales of the equipment operations were $8.930 billion for the quarter and $24.454 billion for nine months, compared with $7.722 billion and $21.563 billion for the same periods last year.

“John Deere delivered record third quarter performance in both sales and income,” said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and CEO. “Although a strong quarter, we are not satisfied that sales fell short of our expectations due to weakening in certain international markets and short-term manufacturing inefficiencies resulting from the introduction of a record number of new products.”

Allen noted that the company’s global presence continues to grow due to strong customer preference for the innovative line-up of John Deere products that have been introduced in the past year.

Summary Of Operations

Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations increased 16% for the quarter and 13% for nine months compared with the same periods a year ago. Sales included price realization of 5% for the quarter and 4% year-to-date and an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 5% for the quarter and 3% for nine months. Equipment net sales in the U.S. and Canada increased 28% for the quarter and 18% year to date. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales were essentially unchanged for the quarter and increased 7% for nine months, with unfavorable currency-translation effects of 11% and 6% for these periods.

Deere’s equipment operations reported operating profit of $1.127 billion for the quarter and $3.347 billion for nine months, compared with $969 million and $2.883 billion last year. The improvement for both periods was primarily due to the impact of price realization and higher shipment volumes. These factors were partially offset by higher production costs and raw material costs, unfavorable effects of foreign currency exchange, as well as increased research and development expenses. The increase in production costs primarily related to new products and engine-emission requirements.

Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Co. of $110.4 million for the quarter and $338.6 million for nine months compared with $125.6 million and $348.9 million last year. Results were lower for both periods primarily due to increased selling, administrative and general expenses, narrower financing spreads and higher reserves for crop insurance claims. These factors were partially offset by growth in the credit portfolio and a lower provision for credit losses.

Company Outlook & Summary

Company equipment sales are projected to increase by about 13% for both fiscal 2012 and the fourth quarter compared with the same periods a year ago. Included is an unfavorable currency-translation impact of about 3% for the year and about 4% for the fourth quarter. For the full year, net income attributable to Deere & Co. is anticipated to be about $3.1 billion.

“Global economic conditions and dryness in several key markets warrant some caution in coming months,” Allen said. “However, this year’s drought could positively influence our outlook as it spotlights the need for John Deere’s highly productive agricultural equipment. Our new John Deere products have been well received by customers around the world. This, combined with our increased focus on improved execution, gives us confidence that Deere is well-positioned to capitalize on favorable global agricultural trends over the long term.”

Equipment Division Performance

Agriculture & Turf. Sales increased 14% for the quarter and 11% for nine months largely due to higher shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of currency translation.

Operating profit was $1.014 billion for the quarter and $2.991 billion year to date, compared with $859 million and $2.579 billion, respectively, last year. Results were up in both periods primarily driven by the impact of price realization and higher shipment volumes. These factors were partially offset by increased production and raw-material costs, unfavorable effects of foreign currency exchange, and higher research and development expenses.

Construction & Forestry. Construction and forestry sales increased 23% for the quarter and 24% for nine months mainly due to higher shipment volumes and price realization. Operating profit was $113 million for the quarter and $356 million for nine months, compared with $110 million and $304 million last year. Results were up for both periods primarily due to the impact of price realization and higher shipment volumes. These factors were partially offset by increased production and raw-material costs, as well as higher research and development and selling, administrative and general expenses.

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