Shares of Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) were off nearly 2% in early Wednesday trading, despite Deere reporting this morning that it earned $997 million in Q3 -- a record earnings quarter for the company.
Q3 2013 revenues increased 4% over last year's Q3, while profits were up 26% -- or 29% per share. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $2.56, compared to $1.98 last year. This performance was ahead of trend for Deere this year, which year-to-date has grown earnings 18.5% (to $6.97) in comparison to what it earned in last year's first three quarters ($5.88).
Deere CEO Samuel R. Allen highlighted "considerable strength in the farm sector, especially in North and South America" as key to Deere's earnings growth. Sales in the company's agriculture and turf division increased 8% in Q3, as contrasted with an 11% decline in construction and forestry sales. Going forward, agriculture sales are expected to continue growing modestly, ending 2013 with about a 7% full-year gain, while declines in construction and forestry should moderate, resulting in an 8% decline for the full year.