Farm equipment maker Deere & Co. says lower raw material costs and favorable exchange rates helped drive its first-quarter profit up 19% despite a 6% drop in revenue.
The company said Wednesday it earned $243.2 million, or 57 cents per share, during the quarter. That's up from $203.9 million, or 48 cents per share a year ago.
Profits are way ahead of the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expected on average about 19 cents.
Even though President and CEO Samuel Allen says the economy is "stubbornly weak" so far this year, Deere boosted its annual outlook. The company expects sales to grow 6-8% with $1.3 billion in profit.