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Deere Reports Record Fourth-Quarter
Earnings of $688 Million; Net Sales Up 14%

  • Full-year earnings reach record $3.065 billion on improved net sales and revenues.

  • Demand for U.S. farm equipment paces performance while construction continues recovery.

  • Further improvement in sales and profit forecast for 2013.

MOLINE, Ill., November 21, 2012 — Net income attributable to Deere & Company was $687.6 million, or $1.75 per share, for the fourth quarter ended October 31, compared with $669.6 million, or $1.62 per share, for the same period last year.

For fiscal 2012, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $3.065 billion, or $7.63 per share, compared with $2.800 billion, or $6.63 per share, in 2011.

Worldwide net sales and revenues rose 14%, to $9.792 billion, for the fourth quarter and increased 13% to $36.157 billion for the full year. Net sales of the equipment operations were $9.047 billion for the quarter and $33.501 billion for the year, compared with $7.903 billion and $29.466 billion for the same periods in 2011.

"In the face of continuing global economic pressure, John Deere has completed another record year," said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our success reflects positive customer response to our lines of innovative equipment coupled with extensive efforts to expand our global competitive position."

During the year, Deere continued with the record introduction of new products, while opening or moving ahead with new factories in China, India, and Brazil. In the U.S., the company announced capacity expansions for tractors, sprayers, and cylinders. "John Deere's performance illustrates the continuing impact of our operating model, which stresses a disciplined approach to cost and asset management," Allen said. "As a result, we are achieving strong financial results and generating high levels of cash flow. These dollars are funding growth activities throughout the world and providing value directly to investors."

Summary of Operations

Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations increased 14% for the fourth quarter and full year compared with the same periods in 2011. Sales included price realization of 4% and an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 3% for both periods. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada increased 26% for the quarter and 20% for the year. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales decreased 2% for the quarter and increased 5% for the year, with unfavorable currency-translation effects of 7% and 6% for these periods.

Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $1.051 billion for the quarter and $4.397 billion for the full year, compared with $955 million and $3.839 billion for the same periods in 2011. The improvement in the quarter was primarily due to the impact of higher shipment volumes and price realization. These factors were partially offset by higher production costs and increased selling, administrative and general, and research and development expenses. Also affecting results was a goodwill impairment charge related to the company's John Deere Water reporting unit and unfavorable effects of foreign currency exchange.

Full-year results improved primarily due to the impact of price realization and higher shipment volumes. Partially offsetting these factors were higher production and raw-material costs, unfavorable effects of foreign currency exchange, and increased research and development, and selling, administrative and general expenses. The increase in production costs for both periods was primarily related to new products, engine-emission requirements and incentive compensation expenses.

Net income of the company's equipment operations was $576 million for the fourth quarter and $2.616 billion for the full year, compared with $552 million and $2.329 billion in 2011. The same operating factors mentioned above, along with a higher effective tax rate and increased interest expense, affected both quarterly and annual results.

Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Company of $121.7 million for the quarter and $460.3 million for the year compared with $122.1 million and $471.0 million in 2011. Results were slightly lower for the quarter primarily due to higher reserves for crop insurance claims, increased selling, administrative and general expenses, a higher provision for credit losses and narrower financing spreads. These factors were almost entirely offset by growth in the credit portfolio. Fiscal-year 2012 results were lower primarily due to increased selling, administrative and general expenses, higher reserves for crop insurance claims and narrower financing spreads, partially offset by growth in the credit portfolio and a lower provision for credit losses.

Agriculture & Turf. Sales increased 16% for the quarter and 13% for the year largely due to higher shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of currency translation. 

Operating profit was $931 million for the quarter and $3.921 billion for the year, compared with $868 million and $3.447 billion, respectively, in 2011. The improvement in both periods was primarily due to the impact of higher shipment volumes and price realization. Results in the quarter were partially offset by higher production costs and increased selling, administrative and general, and research and development expenses. Also affecting fourth-quarter performance was a goodwill impairment charge and unfavorable effects of foreign currency exchange. For the full year, results were partially offset by higher production and raw-material costs, unfavorable effects of foreign currency exchange, and increased research and development, and selling, administrative and general expenses.

Posted November 21, 2012
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