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Deere Profits Up But Sales Down

John Deere

Despite a decline in sales, profits rose for John Deere in its first quarter. Friday the company reported profits rose four per cent to $1.63 per share, compared with $1.54 last year at this time. But worldwide sales fell four per cent, to 7.6 billion dollars.

For its two major divisions, sales of farm equipment fell four per cent, while construction and forestry dropped 10 per cent. The quarter also included a charge of 127 million dollars for a "voluntary employee separation program," with an additional 9 million to be recorded during the rest of the year.

CEO John May says the first quarter results show "early signs of stabilization in the US farm sector," thanks to lower trade tensions and the hopes for higher ag exports. But the construction sector continues to slow down, so the company is reducing production. 

Deere's previous predictions for the full year have not changed - that sales of farm equipment will drop five to ten per cent, and that construction and forestry sales will fall 10 to 15 per cent. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.