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Deere reports unexpected rise in 1Q profits, citing US farm industry 'stabilization' after trade war

Proactive Investors Friday, 21 February 2020
Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) on Friday said the US farming industry, stung by the Trump administration’s trade war with China, is now showing early signs of stabilization.  And as a result, the farm-equipment manufacturer reported better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results, underscored by a surprise rise in profits. “John Deere’s first-quarter performance reflected early signs of stabilization in the U.S. farm sector,” CEO John May said in a statement. “Farmer confidence, though still subdued, has improved, due in part to hopes for a relaxation of trade tensions and higher agricultural exports.” READ: Deere’s earnings miss on ‘unsettled trade conditions’ in key markets Following Deere’s upbeat earnings announcement, its stock jumped 6.4% to $176.50 a share in pre-market trading in New York.  For the quarter ended February 2, Deere earned net income of $517 million, or $1.63 per share, up from $498 million or $1.54 per share last year. Analysts estimated EPS of $1.26. Revenue slumped 4.4% to $7.63 billion but beat the $6.41 billion that was expected. The results include a $127 million pretax charge related to a voluntary employee-separation program. The Moline, Illinois-based company reiterated its full-year earnings forecast.  Deere said its 2020 profit would range from $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion, as it forecast worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment to drop 5% to 10% and worldwide construction and forestry sales to drop 10% to 15%. Contact the author: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

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