For many years, ads for Deere (NYSE:DE) included the tagline, "Nothing runs like a Deere." And after the company released earnings on Wednesday, it'd be understandable if more than a few investors said that very little earns like a Deere, as well.

Despite a U.S. housing market that continues to slide, Deere's net income line grew by 23% year over year to $537.2 million for the third quarter, versus $436 million. Its per-share figure was $2.37, compared with $1.85 last year. Net sales were up 6% to $6.63 billion. (The company sells construction and farm equipment.)

As with a host of other big companies, from Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) to UPS (NYSE:UPS), and on to oilfield services provider Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Deere's quarter was boosted by worldwide sales that in some respects were about as strong as your Aunt Nellie's perfume. For instance, worldwide equipment sales were up 5%, based in part on agricultural equipment sales that grew by 16%, a percentage point higher than the growth in commercial and consumer equipment sales.

Even more importantly, the company's management expects equipment sales to climb by about 16% in the fourth quarter. Management also has raised its full-year profit expectation to $1.7 billion, versus the $1.55 billion forecast in May.

So while it's comforting to be able to look to steady growth in the world's agricultural markets as a key reason for Deere's ongoing success, there are other reasons to cotton to the company as well. One is a strong management team that has been able to lower trade receivables and inventories as a percentage of total sales for 29 consecutive quarters. In my experience, it's that sort of managerial capability and competence that tends to separate corporate wheat from chaff. 

At the same time, Deere sports a forward P/E that, at less than 14 times, is hardly expensive. A dividend yield of 1.5% also adds an attractive element to its shares.

There you have it, then, a major international company that continues to plow ahead faster and faster. With its strong performance and bright prospects -- and especially in light of the market's current oscillations -- I'd recommend that my Foolish friends pay close attention to this company.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned, but he is the proud owner of a new T-shirt that bears the legend "I brake for green tractors." He welcomes your comments or questions. UPS is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.