Agriculture, construction and forestry equipment maker Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE – $171.98) said it agreed to buy Unimil, a privately held provider of aftermarket parts for sugarcane harvesters for an undisclosed amount. Unimil, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was founded in 1999 and has become a well-recognized provider of sugarcane harvester parts with approximately 430 employees. Brazil is the number one supplier of sugarcane in the world, producing approximately one-third of the world’s annual production and nearly twice as much as any other country. Deere said it will retain the Unimil brand name. Moline, Illinois-based Deere, which recently introduced a new sugarcane harvester designed to reduce production costs, said it plans to continue the current direct-to-customer business model of selling Unimil products while offering dealers an opportunity to provide additional services and support to sugarcane customers.
Conservative investors may want to continue to look here. On a risk-adjusted basis, Deere stock holds decent 3- to 5-year total return potential. The shares – up nearly 14% over the past year and closing in on an all-time high – yield 1.8% at current levels.