(By Balaseshan) Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) reported a 3% increase in quarterly earnings on higher sales of construction equipment and agriculture machines. However, earnings missed Street's expectations, sending its shares down 1.15% in premarket.
Earnings for the fourth quarter were $687.6 million or $1.75 per share, up from $669.6 million or $1.62 per share last year.
Worldwide net sales and revenues grew 14% to $9.79 billion. Net sales of the equipment operations climbed 14% to $9.05 billion from $7.90 billion. Sales included price realization of 4% and an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 3%.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $1.88 per share on revenue of $8.85 billion for the fourth quarter.
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Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada jumped 26%, while sales outside the U.S. and Canada decreased 2% for the quarter with unfavorable currency-translation effects of 7%.
Agriculture & Turf sales grew 16%, largely due to higher shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of currency translation. Construction and forestry sales rose 7% mainly due to higher shipment volumes and price realization.
Looking ahead into the first quarter, the company projects company equipment sales growth of about 10%.
For the fiscal 2013, Deere expects earnings of about $3.2 billion and company equipment sales growth of about 5%. Deere's worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to increase by about 4%. Industry sales for agricultural machinery in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be about flat for 2013 in relation to the prior year's healthy levels.
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U.S. and Canada industry sales of turf and utility equipment are expected to be up about 5 percent for 2013, reflecting some improvement in the U.S. economy. Deere's sales are expected to increase more than the industry due to the impact of new products.
Deere's worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to increase by about 8% for fiscal 2013 due in part to modest improvement in U.S. economic conditions. Sales in world forestry markets are projected to be about flat for the year as further weakness in European markets offsets stronger demand in the U.S.
DE closed Tuesday's regular session down 0.30% at $85.99. The stock has been trading between $69.51 and $89.70 for the past 52 weeks.