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Deere: Undervalued Sleeper for 2014

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What mental image comes to your mind when you see the words Deere & Company (DE - Get Report)? Maybe it's the green and yellow emblem of a stag deer jumping, or perhaps it's a green tractor working the fields on a large, commercial farm. What probably doesn't come to your mind are the words, "solid, reasonably priced, long-term investment."

Well, Deere should conjure up those words, even though many look at it as a stodgy stock now and for 2014. In fact, the company wants the investor community to know that it sees itself as opportunistic.

The company's investor relations website also wakes us up about this "sleeper" by stating, "Technology advances and continued agricultural mechanization will open and expand markets. John Deere is uniquely positioned to capitalize on these economic tailwinds. And, just as important, we're in a position to make a difference in the world by supporting a higher quality of life."

Why would an investor want to invest in Deere now? Is it just the 2.37% dividend you'll receive if you don't pay more than $86.16 per share for the company's stock? Or is it that it's trading at a current price-to-earnings ratio below 10 and a forward (one-year) PE of less than 12? The answer is both and more.

Managing a Strong Portfolio of Interrelated Businesses.

Did you know that Deere owns a bushel of interconnected businesses? Each business has it own vital and specific role. The company explains them as follows:

Growth businesses (Agricultural and Construction equipment solutions) are in the best position to capitalize on global growth and development created by these economic trends. Management expects this segment to success as it addresses the challenges of increased agricultural output and infrastructure.

Complementary businesses (Turf and Forestry equipment solutions) - support and enhance worldwide channel development. They defend and grow market share in specific, targeted markets, while seeking to enhancing Deere's financial performance.

Supporting businesses (Financial Services, Power Systems, Parts Services, and the Intelligent Solutions Group) strengthen and differentiate Deere's other equipment solutions.

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