Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, posted a profit last Wednesday for its fiscal fourth quarter in contrast to a loss a year ago. The company cited improved conditions on U.S. farms but weakness in construction equipment sales. The company believes, – farmers in most of the company’s key markets are experiencing solid levels of income due to strong global demand for agricultural commodities, low grain stocks in relation to use, and high prices for crops such as corn, wheat, soybeans, sugar and cotton.
For next year Deere is forecasting only flat farm machinery sales in the United States and Canada because of production limits and the pollution control regulations. Deere CEO Samuel Allen said in a statement that conditions continued to be positive in the U.S. farm sector, including increased sales of larger equipment, but European agricultural markets remained soft.
The Moline, Illinois, company reported net income of 457.2-million dollars, or $1.07 per share, for the quarter ended October 31 compared with a net loss of 222.8-million, or 53 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 35 percent to 7.2-billion dollars. For the full year, Deere earned 1.865-billion dollars, or $4.35 per share. Revenue rose to 26-billion from 23.1-billion dollars a year ago.