New York (AP) – Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, said its fiscal first-quarter net income more than doubled, driven by growing sales of large farm machinery in the U.S. and Canada.

The company also raised its earnings prediction for the fiscal year.  Deere’s shares rose 4 percent in pre-market trading.

The Moline, Ill. company earned $513.7 million, or $1.20 per share, for the quarter ended Jan. 31, up from $243.2 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier.

FactSet says analysts forecast a profit of 97 cents per share.

Total revenue rose 27 percent to $6.12 billion.  Equipment sales in the United States and Canada leaped 35 percent in the quarter.  Outside those core regions, sales were up 22 percent for the quarter.  Sales were helped by a 2 percent increase in prices. 

Deere projects equipment sales will rise 18 to 20 percent during the current fiscal year that ends in October, and about 25 percent in the current quarter. 

It predicts net income this fiscal year of about $2.5 billion, up from a November prediction of $2.1 billion.  Analysts currently predict $2.37 billion.