I've been waiting patiently for Deere's
For the quarter, Deere's results were (not surprisingly) a mixed bag. Net income was $345 million, or $0.81 per share, compared to year-ago income of $422.1 million, or $0.94 a share. However, the most recent quarter included a pre-tax hit of $0.08 a share related to the closing of a facility in Welland, Canada. Revenue for the quarter rose 21% to $7.40 billion.
Wondering how the world's economic circumstances affected the company? Note that Agricultural Division sales were up 43%, and the segment's operating profits from the unit grew by 23%. While Deere's raw material costs rose, both volumes and price realizations increased even more.
Sales for the Commercial & Consumer sector -- whose products include those green garden tractors you may have seen your neighbors driving -- were down 11% for the quarter, resulting in a $16 million operating loss, versus an $11 million loss for the same quarter a year ago. Its other equipment division, Construction & Forestry, managed to nudge sales up 3% year over year, while operating profits there slipped by one-third. As we might have expected, John Deere Capital -- the financial-services arm -- saw its operating profits fall by 30% year over year.
Looking ahead, Deere's management echoed a number of other companies in adopting a guarded outlook. Fellow equipment manufacturers Caterpillar
That's fine, but I'm still convinced that Deere will continue to benefit from its pivotal role in agricultural equipment -- and ultimately food production. However foggy its results or future forecast, Deere deserves at least a glance from Fools and non-Fools alike.
Plow ahead with further Foolishness:
Fool contributor David Lee Smith does own shares in Deere, along with an "I brake for tractors" T-shirt, but he doesn't have an interest in the other companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or comments. The Fool's disclosure policy secretly wants to drive a combine harvester.