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Deere lifts profits in Q1

Deere says slow construction activity is leading to lower sales and profits in its Construction & Forestry division.

BY Andy Carlo

Deere & Company reported first quarter 2020 sales fell 4% to $7.631 billion from first quarter 2019 sales of $7.984 billion.

Net sales of Deere’s equipment operations were $6.53 billion for the quarter, falling 6% compared with sales of $6.94 billion in the first quarter a year ago.

The Moline, Ill.-based construction and agriculture equipment manufacturer posted a net income of $517 million for the period, rising 4% from a net income of $498 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

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The Bottom Line: Deere & Company’s sales slip in the first quarter but profits rise 4% to $517 million.

What the CEO said: “John Deere’s first-quarter performance reflected early signs of stabilization in the U.S. farm sector,” said John May, CEO of Deere. “Farmer confidence, though still subdued, has improved due in part to hopes for a relaxation of trade tensions and higher agricultural exports. At the same time, activity in the construction sector has slowed leading to lower sales and profit for our Construction & Forestry division. Also impacting results in Deere’s construction equipment business were our actions to reduce factory production and lower inventories in response to current market conditions. Additionally, the quarter included costs of a voluntary employee-separation program, which is among the steps Deere is taking to improve flexibility and efficiency.”

Company info: Deere & Company’s full first quarter 2020 report can be read here.

 

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