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Why Deere & Co. (DE) Could Reach $75

Story updated at 9:50 a.m. with market information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Deere & Co. (DE) could now rise as high as $75 according to UBS.

Shares of Deere fell 1.8% to $85.34 in morning trading Thursday.

UBS raised its price target and estimates for Deere on Thursday, though it maintains its "sell" rating for the company. The change is driven mostly by operating margins.

Analysts Steven Fisher, Eric Crawford, and Cleve Rueckert wrote, "We are raising our FY14 EPS estimate to $7.50 from $7.20 to reflect the higher than expected FQ1. The balance of the year is generally unchanged. We raised our FY15 estimate by $0.05 (now $6.75) to reflect a lower expected share count."

Must Read: Farm Slowdown Fears Weigh on Deere & Co. 

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates DEERE & CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate DEERE & CO (DE) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Machinery industry average. The net income increased by 17.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $687.60 million to $806.80 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,666.50 million or 15.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.15%.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, DE has outperformed against the industry average of 18.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • DEERE & CO has improved earnings per share by 20.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DEERE & CO increased its bottom line by earning $9.08 versus $7.64 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 6.9% in earnings ($8.45 versus $9.08).
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Machinery industry and the overall market, DEERE & CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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