Deere Earnings Increase 68 Percent

Mon August 18, 2003 - National Edition

(AP) Sales of nonagricultural equipment helped boost Deere & Co. third-quarter earnings by 68 percent, beating Wall Street expectations, the company recently reported.

The Moline, IL-based manufacturer posted profits of $247.5 million, compared with $147.6 million during the same period last year.

Earnings for the quarter that ended July 31 topped the estimate of 83 cents per share by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Deere chairman and CEO Robert W. Lane said profits were fueled by sales of construction and forestry equipment as well as commercial and consumer products.

He said those profits, which also were aided by favorable overseas currency exchange rates, more than offset a sales volume decrease for the company’s trademark agricultural equipment.

Revenues for the quarter grew 11 percent to $4.4 billion, up from $3.97 billion in the same quarter last year.

Deere is one of the world’s largest farm machinery makers, producing tractors, tillers and harvesting equipment. The company also makes construction equipment and other nonfarm products, such as backhoes, chain saws and snow blowers.