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Associated Press
Strong Sales Drive Deere Earnings Higher
Tuesday November 23, 12:23 pm ET
Strong Sales Drive Deere Earnings Sharply Higher in 4Q, Helping It Double Profits


MOLINE, Ill. (AP) -- Strong sales drove Deere & Co. earnings sharply higher in the fourth quarter, far exceeding Wall Street expectations and helping the heavy equipment maker double its full-year profits, the company reported Tuesday.

The Moline-based company posted record earnings of $356.7 million for the quarter that ended Oct. 31, more than five times higher than $70.6 million a year ago. Profits amounted to $1.41 per share, up from 27 cents during the same quarter last year and above the mean estimate of 99 cents per share from analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Analysts said heavy equipment sales, particularly in its trademark agricultural equipment, have surged worldwide due to an economic upturn that has allowed buyers to add new machines and replace old ones.

"They've had a pretty good overseas presence for a long time, but I think they've focused more energy there the last several years and are providing products more in line with local needs," said Charlie Rentschler, an analyst with Langenberg & Co.

Sales rose through all equipment lines, yielding fourth-quarter revenue that topped $5.2 billion, up 32 percent from a year ago.

Deere said construction and forestry equipment sales jumped 65 percent for the quarter and 54 percent for the year. Sales of agriculture equipment were up 35 percent in the fourth quarter and 31 percent for the year, while commercial and consumer models such as lawn mowers and compact tractors were up 10 percent for the quarter and 16 percent for the year.

The company's record earnings for the year topped $1.4 billion, more than double the $643.1 million posted in 2003. For the year, per share profits were $5.56, up from $2.64 last year. Full-year revenues increased 29 percent to $19.9 billion.

Deere projects 2005 sales will increase 2 to 7 percent, and forecasts full-year earnings of about $1.5 billion. First-quarter earnings are expected to increase 20 to 25 percent from the same period last year.

"We remain focused on offering innovative products and services, while introducing our brand to a wider global audience," said chairman and CEO Robert W. Lane.

Rentschler thinks the company's 2005 sales projections are overly cautious. He said a farm economy rebound is only in its second year and could last three to five more years, though "not without fits and starts."

He also said demand for construction and forestry equipment should continue if the U.S. home construction industry remains strong.

The company's share price rose 88 cents, to $69.59 a share, in midday trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Deere is one of the world's largest farm-machinery makers, including tractors, tillers and harvestry equipment. The company also makes construction equipment and other non-farm products, such as backhoes, chain saws and snow blowers.
 

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Re: They have my votes. Nearly 30,000 of them.

Originally posted by Keweenaw4310
JD tractors are green. Money is green. Coincidental? I think not.
The secret is out. Deere's are painted with money! :truth:
 

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Re: Re: They have my votes. Nearly 30,000 of them.

Originally posted by CatDaddy
The secret is out. Deere's are painted with money! :truth:
That almost explains why the yellow and black parts are so much cheaper than the green parts. (Please remember I own 3 Deeres):furious: :furious:
 
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