Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) is scheduled to report its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets open on Wednesday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $0.75 in earnings per shares (EPS) on $6.13 billion in revenue. The same period from the previous year had $2.11 in EPS on $8.04 billion in revenue.
In the third-quarter earnings report, the company easily beat modest expectations, while the year-over-year drop in revenues and profits continues. Deere has managed analysts’ and shareholders’ expectations about as well as a company can when market headwinds get stiffer. The company has beaten analysts’ estimates for earnings in each of the past five quarters, and this most recent beat of 5.9% is identical to that in the third quarter of 2014. And even though revenues are falling, the company manages to beat estimates there as well.
This company has seen some headwinds from the strong dollar, but it remains a very solid long-term buy. Deere manufactures and distributes agriculture, construction and forestry equipment worldwide. The company’s Agriculture and Turf segment provides agriculture and turf equipment, and related service parts, including large, medium and utility tractors; loaders; combines, corn pickers, cotton and sugarcane harvesters, and related front-end equipment and sugarcane loaders; and tillage, seeding and application equipment, including sprayers, nutrient management and soil preparation machinery.
Deere’s Construction and Forestry segment provides backhoe loaders; crawler dozers and loaders; four-wheel-drive loaders; excavators; motor graders; articulated dump trucks; landscape loaders; skid-steer loaders; and log skidders, feller bunchers, log loaders, log forwarders, log harvesters and related attachments that are used in construction, earth moving, material handling and timber harvesting applications.
Ahead of the earnings report a few analyst weighed in on Deere:
- Citigroup reiterated a Buy rating with a $90 price target.
- JPMorgan downgraded it to an Underweight rating and lowered the price target to $64 from $82.
- Deutsche Bank has a Buy rating and raised its price target to $101 from $90.
- Barclays has an Underweight rating and lowered its price target to $63 from $68.
So far in 2015, Deere has underperformed the market with the stock down nearly 14% year to date. Over the past 52-weeks the stock is down about 12%.
Shares of Deere were last trading at $74.01, with a consensus analyst price target of $76.95 and a 52-week trading range of $71.85 to $98.23.
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