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Apparently the big ag manufacturers are starting to do well.

UPDATE 2-CNH Global posts 3rd-qtr profit vs. year-ago loss
Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:12 AM ET
(Adds opening stock price, outlook.)
CHICAGO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - CNH Global NV (CNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research) reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by strong demand for its construction and farm equipment.

The maker of Case and New Holland brand tractors had third-quarter net income of $25 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of $36 million, or 27 cents a share.

Before restructuring charges in both periods, CNH would have earned $34 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with a loss of $15 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago.

That was at the high end of analysts' estimates, which ranged from 15 cents to 30 cents a share, and beat the average of 21 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Total revenue gained 19 percent to $2.97 billion.

Agriculture equipment continued to be strong, with sales up 14 percent to $1.92 billion. CNH said most of the gains came in North America, where sales of its over-40 horsepower tractors and combines increased significantly.

Construction equipment sales rose 30 percent in the quarter to $871 million, on "substantially" higher sales in North and Latin America.

CNH, which is majority owned by Italy's Fiat SpA (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) said worldwide retail sales of its light and heavy construction equipment has kept pace with the market. It said CNH brands gained market share in the recovering bankhoe segment.

The company said it expects 2004 North American industry sales of combines and over-40 horsepower tractors to remain near 2003 levels.

It also predicted heavy and light construction equipment will improve "moderately" in North America during the fourth quarter.

CNH's shares fell 10 cents to $16.90 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Fiat shares in Milan were up slightly at 5.46 euros.
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