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Deere's record fourth-quarter, earnings $688 million

Staff writer |
Deere & Co, the world's largest farm equipment maker, reported record fourth-quarter earnings of $688 million, or $1.75 per share. The company expects net income of $3.2 billion in fiscal 2013.

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For the same period last year, the fourth quarter ended October 31, the company reported net income of $669.6 million, or $1.62 per share, so Deere's CFO has a good reason for a big smile.

For fiscal 2012, net income was $3.065 billion, or $7.63 per share, compared with $2.800 billion, or $6.63 per share, in previous year. Worldwide net sales and revenues went up 14 percent, to $9.792 billion, for the Q4 and increased 13 percent to $36.157 billion for the full year. Net sales of the equipment operations were $9.047 billion for Q4 and $33.501 billion for the year, compared with $7.903 billion and $29.466 billion for the same periods in 2011.

"In the face of continuing global economic pressure, John Deere has completed another record year," said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our success reflects positive customer response to our lines of innovative equipment coupled with extensive efforts to expand our global competitive position."

Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations increased 14 percent for the fourth quarter and full year compared with the same periods in 2011. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada increased 26 percent for the quarter and 20 percent for the year. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales decreased 2 percent for the quarter and increased 5 percent for the year, with unfavorable currency-translation effects of 7 percent and 6 percent for these periods.

Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $1.051 billion for the quarter and $4.397 billion for the full year, compared with $955 million and $3.839 billion for the same periods in 2011. Full-year results improved primarily due to the impact of price realization and higher shipment volumes. Partially offsetting these factors were higher production and raw-material costs, unfavorable effects of foreign currency exchange, and increased research and development, and selling, administrative and general expenses.

Company equipment sales are projected to increase by about 5 percent for full year 2013 and to be up about 10 percent for the first quarter compared with the same periods of 2012. For fiscal 2013, net income attributable to Deere & Company is anticipated to be about $3.2 billion.

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