Shares of Deere & Co.(NYSE:DE) stock were up 3% in morning trading today after the company thrashed analyst estimates for fourth-quarter revenue and earnings. Management also issued surprisingly strong guidance for fiscal 2014.
Revenue fell 3% to $9.451 billion in Q4, resulting in $2.11 of profit per share. Analysts had been looking for $8.68 billion and $1.89 a share, respectively. For the full year, Deere revenue grew 5% to $37.795 billion. Per-share earnings improved 19% to $9.09. Both figures easily surpassed Wall Street's targets.
"During the year, Deere continued with a record number of product introductions and completed seven new factories, in Brazil, Russia, India and China," Samuel R. Allen, Deere & Co. chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "These products and additional capacity are essential to helping the company expand its global customer base and realize its long-term business objectives."
Looking ahead, Deere acknowledged some challenges to the agricultural business that feeds its coffers. Sales of agriculture and turf products are expected to fall 6%. The good news? Construction and forestry sales are expected to improve 10%. All told, management forecasts $3.3 billion in 2014 profit. Wall Street had been targeting just $3.04 billion, according to estimates from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
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