Global farm equipment maker Deere & Company (DE 4.49%) today announced it is withdrawing financial guidance for 2020 that it had put out as recently as February 27, 2020. Its subsidiary, John Deere Capital Corporation is also withdrawing its 2020 outlook.
Deere, with roots dating back to 1837, has facilities in more than thirty countries and is facing challenges ranging from the health of its employees, supply chain issues, and government mandated shutdowns.
Critical infrastructure business
In its update, Deere said that both financial and operational impacts are coming from several factors. It said the severity of the impacts on the company will depend on how long the pandemic lasts, the effects on demand for its equipment and services, supply chain issues, as well as government regulations made to fight the pandemic. It said the business impacts "could be material."
In the U.S., it is a federally designated essential critical infrastructure business, but it is facing COVID-19 related challenges in some locations. As a supplier to farmers and other food producers, Deere will keep its operations running to the extent possible. Its statement said that some facilities are scaling back operations, and others are temporarily halting production due to the pandemic effects. It did not specify which operations are temporarily idled.
The company said that it was committed to both the health and well-being of its employees, and the needs of its customers. It will provide another update during its May 22, 2020, second quarter earnings announcement and conference call.