Deere Earnings Top Estimates

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deere earningsDeere & Company (DE) reported Wednesday its fiscal third-quarter net income jumped 47% as sales rose 16% in the quarter, despite continued weakness in certain sectors.

The heavy machinery maker said net income for the third quarter ended July 31 rose to $617 million, or $1.44 per share, from $420 million, or 99 cents per share, for the same period last year. This handily beat analysts' estimates for earnings of $1.23 per share.

Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 16%, to $6.837 billion for the third quarter. Analysts expected sales of $6.52 billion. Net sales of the equipment operations were $6.224 billion for the quarter, compared with $5.283 billion for the corresponding periods last year. Agriculture and turf equipment sales rose 12% to $5.2 billion, while construction and forestry equipment sale rose 59% to $1 billion in the quarter.

"John Deere's third-quarter performance reflected the disciplined execution of our business plans and occurred despite continued weakness in certain key sectors," said Chairman and CEO Samuel Allen in a statement. "While we have benefited from positive conditions in the U.S. farm sector, particularly in terms of demand for large equipment, European markets are down sharply. Demand for construction and forestry equipment is improved from last year but still remains far below normal levels."

The Moline, Ill.-based company project equipment sales to be up about 12% for fiscal 2010 and up about 32% for the fourth quarter, compared with the same periods a year ago. For the fourth quarter, net income is anticipated to be approximately $375 million, below analyst expectations of $385 million.

Shares of Deere fell 2.5% in premarket trading.
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