What Analysts Are Saying After Deere’s Earnings

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Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) reported third-quarter fiscal 2016 results before markets opened Friday. Shares made a handy gain in Friday’s session (13.5%), as this company blew out estimates on both the top and the bottom lines. Analysts could not help but pour into the stock.

24/7 Wall St. has included a few highlights from the earnings report, as well as what analysts are saying after Friday’s massive move.

The farm and heavy equipment maker posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.55 on revenues of $6.72 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $1.53 on revenues of $6.84 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.94 and $6.09 billion in revenues.

Year over year, net sales for the quarter fell 16% in the United States and Canada and 12% elsewhere, and currency exchange rates had a negative impact of 4% on revenues. Higher profits for the quarter were primarily driven by price realization, lower production costs and a decrease in selling, administrative and general expenses, partially offset by reduced shipment volumes and the unfavorable effects of foreign-currency exchange.

For 2016 Deere now expects equipment sales to decline by about 10% (more than the 9% projected at the end of the second quarter), including a negative 2% impact from currency exchange effects. Fourth-quarter sales are projected to by 8%, including a negative currency exchange effect of 1%.

Net income for the year is now forecast at $1.35 billion, up from a prior estimate of $1.2 billion, but down from 2015 net income of $1.94 billion. Based on 315.7 million diluted shares outstanding, that works out to about $4.28 per share.

Consensus estimates for Deere’s fiscal fourth quarter call for EPS of $0.59 and revenues of $5.52 billion. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $3.87 and $23.61 billion in revenue.

Merrill Lynch maintained Neutral rating for Deere with a $78 price objective. The brokerage firm detailed in its report:

The recent additional leg down in global grain prices undermines cyclical recovery prospects, while trends in the North American construction equipment market also remain disappointing, but we still see earnings bottoming in the $3.50-4.00 range in the next two years. Downside risks to our price objective are: 1) a sharper-than-expected correction in the ag cycle, 2) further deterioration in global grain prices, 3) a worsening used-equipment price outlook, 4) inability to raise prices to offset Final Tier 4 expenses, 5) unfavorable regulatory policy toward farmers, 6) slower than expected recovery in non-residential construction, and 7) global recession. Upside risks are 1) farm equipment demand turns out to be more resilient than expected, 2) extension of Section 179 tax benefits, 3) short term rally in soft commodity prices.

A few other analysts weighed in on Deere after the earnings report:

  • Credit Suisse has an Outperform rating and raised its price target to $100 from $87.
  • Barclays reiterated an Underweight rating with a $63 price target.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Underweight rating.
  • Jefferies reiterated a Hold rating.
  • Baird has a Neutral rating and raised its price target to $90 price target from $78.
  • Piper Jaffray has an Underweight rating with a $70 price target.
  • RBC has a Sector Perform rating with an $80 price target.
  • UBS has a Neutral rating and an $87 price target.

Shares of Deere were trading up 0.8% at $88.04 Monday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $77.89 and a 52-week trading range of $70.16 to $88.20.