Deere Earnings Wow on the Bottom-Line

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Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The company said that it had $0.90 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.65 billion in revenue. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters called for $0.40 in EPS and $5.38 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $1.08 in EPS and $5.93 billion in revenue.

The Agriculture & Turf segment sales fell 5% for the quarter with an operating profit of $371 million due to lower shipment volumes, partially offset by the favorable effects of currency translation for the quarter.

Construction & Forestry sales decreased 5% for the quarter, largely as a result of lower shipment volumes and higher sales-incentive costs. The segment had an operating loss of $17 million for the quarter as well.

In terms of guidance, the company projects its equipment sales to decrease about 1% for fiscal 2017 and be down about 4% for the first quarter compared with the same periods of 2016. Net sales and revenues are projected to decrease about 1% for fiscal 2017, while net income attributable to Deere is anticipated to be about $1.4 billion.

The consensus estimates are calling for $0.55 in EPS and $4.56 billion in revenue for the fiscal first quarter. For the 2017 fiscal year, analysts are predicting $3.85 in EPS and $22.72 billion in revenue.

On the books, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities totaled $4.79 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $4.60 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Samuel R. Allen, Chairman and CEO, commented:

John Deere has completed another successful year in spite of continuing weakness in the global agricultural and construction equipment sectors. The company in 2016 had one of its ten-best years in both sales and earnings, a noteworthy achievement in light of the difficult business climate. Deere’s performance benefited from the adept execution of its operating plans and disciplined cost management as well as the impact of a broad product portfolio. As a result, the company has remained well-positioned to serve its customers while making continued investments in quality and innovation that we’re confident will be supportive of growth in the future.

Shares of Deere closed Tuesday at $92.01, with a consensus analyst price target of $85.21 and a 52-week trading range of $70.16 to $93.14. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up 12% at $103.40 in early trading indications Wednesday.