For the three months ended Jan. 31, Deere achieved net earnings of $513.7 million, or $1.20 a share, more than double its $243.2 million, or $0.57 per share, for the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 27% to $6.12 billion, as demand for agriculture, construction, and forestry equipment all topped expectations.
Analysts had forecast earnings of $0.99 a share on sales of $5.67 billion. Deere thus joins its fellow Midwest construction, mining, and farm equipment manufacturers Caterpillar
Worldwide total equipment operations' net sales increased by 30% year over year, with the U.S. and Canada rising 35%, and other areas climbing 22%. Operating profit for the equipment operations reached $646 million, versus $315 million a year ago. Agriculture and Turf sales expanded by 21% year over year, while Construction & Forestry sales grew by a whopping 81% in the quarter. Operating margins expanded nicely across the board.
Looking ahead, Agriculture and Turf sales are now forecast to increase by about 16% for all of 2011, based on anticipated strength in global farm conditions. The prior prediction had expected sales in the 7% to 9% range. Farm machinery sales are forecast to grow by about 5% for the year in the U.S. and Canada, while the European nations that comprise the EU are expected to increase their sales by approximately 10%.
Construction & Forestry sales are anticipated to increase by about 35%. That compares with earlier guidance of 25% to 30%, based on an expected further strengthening of market conditions from last year.
Challenges do lie ahead for the industry. Deere, along with competitors like Japan's Kubota
The maker of that well-recognized green and yellow equipment has recorded a solid quarter, and it appears to be headed even higher. I hope Fools will study this company ever so closely.
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Alas, Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies listed above. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.