We have a little more time to concentrate on Deere's (NYSE:DE) releases since, due to its fiscal year, it reports a tidbit after the other big industrial companies. My conclusion is that, given the lumbering state of the economy throughout most of the world, the company's results could have been far worse.

For the quarter, Deere generated income of $420 million, or $0.99 per share against $575.2 million and $1.32 per share last year. If you're a percentage person, that's a 25% slide on the bottom line on a per share basis. Global net sales came in at $5.89 billion. The Wall Street dart-throwers had been looking for $0.57 a share on revenues of $5.25 billion.

So considering the circumstances in which it was operating, I'm a believer that Deere performed well in the quarter. Not only did it beat analysts' expectations handily, but it topped the other equipment makers as well. Indeed Terex (NYSE:TEX) and CNH Global (NYSE:CNH) both reported their quarters in red ink.

At the same time, Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW) both watched their earnings slide far more than those of the company from Moline with its yellow and green tractors and other equipment.

Speaking of equipment, Deere's equipment sales fell by 25% in the quarter. Of that amount, 4% was attributable to an unfavorable currency translation. And looking even more closely at the equipment area, Agriculture and Turf sales declined 21% in the quarter, although management expects that division to come in about 15% below last year when the full year is reported after October. Construction and Forestry saw its sales drop by 47%, the same number that it's anticipated to dip for the year.

The company's credit subsidiary, John Deere Capital Corporation earned $59.1 for the quarter, down from $70.1 million a year ago. The primary difference was that, like anyone who loans anyone anything these days, the company raised its loss provision. At the same time, it also tussled with skinnier financing spreads.

What, then, should investors think about when they consider Deere? I tend to think good thoughts, if only because of its ties to agriculture. But given the lack of revised upward guidance and the run the stock has had, I'm inclined to sit out a quarter.

If you take a gander at Motley Fool's CAPS, you'll no doubt note that Deere has been rated a four-star company out of a possible five. Why not add your vote to the company's tab?

Fool contributor David Lee Smith has a Deere T-shirt and has driven a tractor several times; but he doesn't own shares in any of the companies above. He does welcome your comments. The Fool owns shares of Terex. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.