Conservative · Stocks to Consider and Updates

Deere Profit Falls on Slowed Farm Equipment Sales; Beats Estimates

 DEDeere & Co. (NYSE: DE – $80.00) the world’s largest seller of tractors and harvesting combines reported that fourth quarter revenue tumbled and warned sales would continue to slide next year amid lower demand for its farm equipment. However, the company’s latest earnings and revenue declines weren’t as sharp as analysts projected and the 2016 sales outlook met expectations. The Moline, Illinois-based company said sales next year are likely to drop 7%, signaling a prolonged slump for the sector hurt by weakening demand and lower grain prices that are pinning down farmers’ profits. Although the company’s forecast calls for lower results in the year ahead, the outlook represents a level of performance that is better than Deere has experienced in previous downturns. Adding to the unfavorable agricultural backdrop there is tapering interest in products manufactured by the company’s’ Construction & Forestry segment, as well. Amid a glut of equipment, Deere has pulled back on production and has furloughed assembly workers to lower its costs. In the latest quarter, Deere took overhead expenses down by 16% to $719.1 million and reported a profit for the period of $351.2 million, or $1.08 a share, compared to $1.83 a share, a year earlier. Revenue decreased 25% to $6.72 billion. The Street was expecting Deere to earn only $0.75 per share on revenue of about $6.15 billion, and the shares popped on the news. Though far from being a market performer in the year-ahead, good-quality Deere stock holds decent recovery potential and provides patient investors with a yield of 3.14%, while waiting out the slump.

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