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Deere reports 52 percent profit increase

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Farm equipment maker Deere & Co.said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit rose 52 percent as strong worldwide agricultural sales more than offset declines in other sectors resulting from the U.S. housing downturn.

The Moline, Ill.-based company reported net sales of $6.14 billion for the fourth quarter, representing a 20 percent increase over the same period last year. Company shares rose after fourth quarter results exceeded analysts’ profit and sales estimates.

The company earned $422.1 million, or $1.88 a share, for the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with $277.3 million, or $1.20 a share, for the same period last year.

Wall Street had predicted a profit of $1.55 a share and a top line of about $5.8 billion. Shares of Deere were advancing 1.7 percent to $147.50 in premarket trading Wednesday.

“Deere’s continuing strong performance reflects improving execution of our plans to create a fundamentally more profitable, resilient business,” said Robert W. Lane, Deere’s chairman and chief executive. “As a result, the company has delivered four successive years of record results, and done so in the face of mixed market conditions.” v

In fiscal 2007, Deere benefited from an improving global farm economy but saw weakening in the construction, forestry, commercial and consumer sectors — chiefly as a result of the U.S. housing downturn, the company said.

Deere earned $1.8 billion in fiscal 2007. Company equipment sales are projected to increase by about 12 percent for fiscal 2008 and to be up roughly 25 percent for the first quarter. Deere is expecting net income of around $2.1 billion for the full year and about $325 million for the first quarter.

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PPG names new vps

BY HBSDEALER Staff

PPG Industries has named Thomas S. Mauck and John R. Outcalt as vps, effective Dec. 1.

Mauck, general manager, protective and marine coatings, will assume the post of vp-protective and marine coatings. He joined PPG in 1980.

His previous positions included controller and business planning director for industrial coatings; market manager for coil and extrusion coatings products; general manager, industrial finishes; and director, raw material purchasing. In addition, he led the integration of last year’s Ameron coatings acquisition for PPG.

Mauck has a bachelor’s of business administration from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s of business administration from Wilmington College.

Outcalt, director of sales and marketing, automotive refinish, North America, has been named vp-automotive refinish, Americas. He joined PPG in 1983 as a sales representative for the automotive coatings business.

Outcalt’s past roles include director, collision center operations; director of sales, refinish, North America; general manager of insurance and services; and director of sales and marketing.

Outcalt holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace College.

Mauck and Outcalt will continue to report to J. Rich Alexander, senior vp-coatings.

Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiberglass.

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Pope & Talbot agrees to sell sawmills to Interfor

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pope & Talbot has announced an agreement to sell three sawmills and related timber tenures to International Forest Products Limited (Interfor) for about $69 million plus the value of certain current assets and liabilities assumed.

The three mills, located in Castlegar, B.C.; Grand Forks, B.C.; and Spearfish, S.D., produce high-quality softwood lumber products.

The transaction is subject to approvals by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the Canadian Court. In addition, the agreement allows for competing bids to be considered before the sale is finalized.

Based in Portland, Ore., Pope & Talbot produces market pulp and softwood lumber at mills in the United States and Canada.

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