Deere profit beats on strong farm equipment demand, shares jump



via St. Louis Post-Dispatch - May 19, 2017


Deere & Co. reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit, as sales rose for the first time in more than three years on improving demand for its farm and construction equipment, sending its shares up 7 percent.


The Moline, Ill.-based farm equipment maker also raised it fiscal 2017 equipment sales growth forecast to 9 percent, from its previous forecast of 4 percent.


Deere said it now expects fiscal 2017 net income attributable to the company to be about $2 billion, up from $1.5 billion estimated previously.


The company's sales had taken a hit as bumper corn and soybeans harvests drove down prices, leaving farmers with less cash to spend on equipment.


To cope with the slump, Deere cut jobs and lowered production of its trademark green tractors and harvesting combines.


Higher shipment volumes and improved pricing and product mix along with cost cuts helped the company beat profit estimates for the second quarter ended April 30.


"We are seeing modestly higher overall demand for our products, with farm machinery sales in South America experiencing a strong recovery," CEO Samuel Allen said in a statement...