Farm equipment giant Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE) reported better than expected first quarter results today and gave an upbeat sales outlook for the current year.
Deere saw its net sales fall to US$4.70bn for the three months to January 31, down from US$4.77bn a year earlier, but that was above the consensus forecast of US$4.62bn.
The Illinois-basedfirm also raised its equipment sales forecast for 2017 to growth of 4% compared with its previous expectation for a decline of 1%.
The group’s quarterly net income fell to US$193.8mln, or 61 US cents per share, down from US$254.4mln, or 80 US cents per share a year earlier, but was also better than the 56 US cents forecast.
Samuel R. Allen, the group’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “John Deere has started out the year on a positive note in the continued face of soft market conditions.
“Although the quarter’s sales and earnings were somewhat lower than last year, all of our businesses remained solidly profitable.”
He added: “Deere’s performance showed further benefits from the sound execution of its operating plans, the strength of a broad product portfolio and the impact of a more flexible cost structure.
“At the same time, we are seeing signs that after several years of steep declines key agricultural markets may be stabilizing.”
In pre-market trading, Deere shares were up over 3%, having already rallied 19% over the past three months.
Story by ProactiveInvestors