- Earnings per share climb 27% on 10% gain in net sales and revenues.
- Results benefit from healthy farm conditions, skillful execution of business plans.
- Full-year profit forecast increased.
Net income attributable to Deere & Company was $649.7 million, or $1.65 per share, for the first quarter ended January 31, compared with $532.9 million, or $1.30 per share, for the same period last year.
Worldwide net sales and revenues for the first quarter increased 10 percent, to $7.421 billion, compared with $6.767 billion last year. Net sales of the equipment operations were $6.793 billion for the quarter compared with $6.119 billion a year ago.
"With our eleventh consecutive quarter of record earnings, John Deere has started 2013 on a positive note and is setting the stage for another successful year," said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. "These results are further proof of the adept execution of operating and marketing plans aimed at expanding our global market presence while maintaining a tight grip on costs and assets," he said. "As a result, Deere remains well-positioned to earn solid profits in today's fragile global economy and, longer term, to benefit from major trends that we continue to believe hold great promise for the company and its customers and investors."
Summary of Operations
Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations rose 11 percent for the quarter. Sales included price increases of 3 percent and an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 1 percent. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada increased 18 percent for the quarter. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales increased 2 percent for the quarter, including an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 3 percent.
Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $837 million for the quarter, compared with $698 million last year. Results benefited from higher shipment volumes and price realization. These factors were partially offset by increases in production costs, selling, administrative and general expenses, warranty costs, and research and development expenses. The increased production costs related primarily to manufacturing-overhead expenses in support of growth, new products, and engine-emission requirements.
Net income of the company's equipment operations was $525 million for the quarter, compared with $416 million last year. The same operating factors mentioned above, along with a lower effective tax rate and increased interest expense, affected the quarterly results.
Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Company of $132.9 million for the quarter compared with $119.1 million last year. The improvement was primarily related to growth in the credit portfolio and higher crop insurance margins, partially offset by increased selling, administrative and general expenses. In addition, last year's results benefited from revenue related to wind energy credits.
Company Outlook & Summary
Company equipment sales are projected to be up about 6 percent for fiscal 2013 and up about 4 percent for the second quarter compared with the same periods of 2012. For the full year, net income attributable to Deere & Company is anticipated to be approximately $3.3 billion.
Although Deere is looking to achieve strong results in 2013, persistent global economic and fiscal concerns warrant continued caution. "We're confident our investment in new products and additional capacity will help Deere fully capitalize on the world's growing need for food, shelter and infrastructure in the years ahead," Allen said. "However, the near-term outlook is being tempered by uncertainties over fiscal, economic and trade issues that are undermining business confidence and restraining growth."
Equipment Division Performance
- Agriculture & Turf. Sales increased 16 percent for the quarter largely due to higher shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of currency translation. Operating profit was $766 million compared with $574 million for the quarter last year. The improvement was primarily due to higher shipment volumes and price realization. These factors were partially offset by increases in selling, administrative and general expenses, warranty costs, production costs and research and development expenses.
- Construction & Forestry. Construction and forestry sales decreased 7 percent. Operating profit for the quarter was $71 million compared with $124 million a year ago. The reduced operating profit was primarily due to lower shipment volumes. In addition, higher production costs, an unfavorable product mix, as well as increases in research and development and selling, administrative and general expenses were offset by price realization.
Market Conditions & Outlook
- Agriculture & Turf. Worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to increase by about 6 percent for full-year 2013. Relatively high commodity prices and strong farm incomes are expected to continue supporting a favorable level of demand for farm machinery during the year. Deere's sales are expected to see further benefit from global expansion and a number of advanced new products.
Industry sales for agricultural machinery in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be flat to up 5 percent in relation to last year's healthy levels. Caution in the U.S. livestock sector is expected to partly offset continued strength in demand for large equipment such as high-horsepower tractors and combines.
Full-year industry sales in the EU27 are forecast to be down about 5 percent due to weakness in the overall economy and last year's poor harvest in the U.K. In South America, industry sales are projected to be up 10 to 15 percent as a result of strong market conditions in Brazil. Industry sales in the Commonwealth of Independent States are expected to be down slightly from 2012, while Asian sales are projected to be slightly higher due to some strengthening in the Chinese economy.In the U.S. and Canada, industry sales of turf and utility equipment are expected to be about flat for 2013, reflecting a continuation of cautious consumer sentiment. Deere's sales are expected to increase more than the industry due to the impact of new products.
- Construction & Forestry. Deere's worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to increase by about 3 percent for 2013. The increase reflects a cautious outlook for U.S. economic growth, higher international sales of construction equipment, and flat sales in world forestry markets. In the forestry sector, further weakness in European markets is expected to offset higher U.S. demand.
- Financial Services. Full-year 2013 net income attributable to Deere & Company for the financial services operations is expected to be approximately $540 million. The forecast improvement is primarily due to expected growth in the credit portfolio and lower crop insurance claims. These factors are projected to be partially offset by an increase in the provision for credit losses. Though higher than in 2012, the provision is anticipated to remain below its historical average.
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