Deere posted its third quarter results, with net income attributable to Deere & Co. at $712.3 million, or $1.69 per share, for the third quarter ended July 31, compared with $617.0 million, or $1.44 per share, for the same period last year. For the first nine months of the year, net income attributable to Deere & Co. was $2.130 billion, or $5.01 per share, compared with $1.408 billion, or $3.28 per share, last year.
Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 22 percent, to $8.372 billion, for the third quarter and were up 24 percent to $23.401 billion for nine months. Net sales of the equipment operations were $7.722 billion for the quarter and $21.563 billion for nine months, compared with $6.224 billion and $17.009 billion for the corresponding periods last year.
“Bolstered by yet another quarter of record results, John Deere remains on track for a year of exceptional achievement,” said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our success reflects strong demand for the company's advanced equipment and the skillful execution of our ambitious business plans. These are aimed at expanding our global competitive position and introducing the John Deere brand to a wider group of customers.”
Increased sales of large farm machinery are having a major impact on Deere's performance, Allen said, while construction-equipment sales are moving higher in spite of weakness in the North American residential and commercial construction sectors. “The company is achieving record performance in spite of certain key markets being in the early stages of recovery. This reflects our focus on managing costs and assets, while enhancing our geographic footprint and providing a range of innovative products and services to a growing global customer base.”
Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations increased 24 percent for the quarter and 27 percent for nine months compared with a year ago. Sales included a favorable currency-translation effect of 6 percent for the quarter and 4 percent for nine months and price increases of 3 percent for both periods. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada increased 10 percent for the quarter and 19 percent year to date. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales were up 49 percent for the quarter and 40 percent for nine months, with favorable currency-translation effects of 16 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $969 million for the quarter and $2.883 billion for nine months, compared with $890 million and $2.193 billion last year. The increases were largely due to the impact of higher shipment volumes and improved price realization, partially offset by higher raw-material costs and increased selling, administrative and general expenses.
Net income of the company's equipment operations was $584 million for the quarter and $1.777 billion for nine months, compared with $512 million and $1.135 billion for the respective periods last year. The same operating factors mentioned above affected quarterly and nine-month results. In addition, a lower tax rate benefited performance for the year to date.
Construction and forestry sales rose 34 percent for the quarter and were up 50 percent for nine months mainly due to higher shipment volumes and improved price realization. The division had operating profit of $110 million for the quarter and $304 million for nine months, compared with $66 million and $65 million last year. Operating profit for both periods moved up primarily due to higher shipment and production volumes and improved price realization, partially offset by increased raw-material costs and selling, administrative and general expenses.
Deere's worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to increase by about 45 percent for full-year 2011. The increase reflects market conditions that are somewhat improved in relation to last year's low level and increased activity outside of the U.S. and Canada. Construction equipment sales to independent rental companies are seeing significant growth. World forestry markets are experiencing a further rebound after last year's strong gains with particular improvement in Europe.
Company equipment sales are projected to be up about 25 percent for fiscal 2011 and up about 20 percent for the fourth quarter compared with the same periods a year ago. Included is a favorable currency-translation impact of about 4 percent for both periods. For the full year, net income attributable to Deere & Co. is anticipated to be approximately $2.7 billion.
Reflecting improvement from the company's previous estimate, the annual forecast now includes a negative impact of approximately $70 million in sales and $10 million in operating profit from the effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.
According to Allen, the company's 2011 performance is providing significant momentum to its future growth plans. “John Deere's aggressive investment in new products and expanded global capacity puts the company on a sound footing to address the world's growing need for food, shelter and infrastructure,” Allen stated. “We remain confident that these positive macroeconomic trends have staying power and should prove rewarding to the company and its stakeholders in the years ahead.” At the same time, he noted, concerns over the health of the global economy and recent turmoil in world financial markets have introduced an additional element of uncertainty into the near-term outlook.