Deere & Co. (DE) posted much stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Friday, and boosted its 2021 profit forecast, amid an improving outlook for equipment sales in a recovering global economy.
Deere said earnings for the three months ending in January, the group's fiscal first quarter, came in at $3.87 per share, up 137% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.14 per share. Group worldwide sales, Deere said, rose 19% from last year to $9.112 billion, against topping analysts' estimates of a $7.225 billion tally.
Looking into the end of the 2021 fiscal year, Deer said it sees overall net income of between $4.6 billion and $5 billion, up from its late November forecast of between $3.6 billion to $4 billion. That implies earnings in the range of $14.65 to $15.95 per share.
“John Deere started 2021 on a strongly positive note,” said CEO John May. “Our results were aided by outstanding performance across our business lineup and improving conditions in the farm and construction sectors. In addition, our smart industrial operating strategy is making a significant impact on the company’s results while it also helps our customers be more profitable and sustainable.
“We are proud of our success executing the strategy and creating a more focused organization that can operate with greater speed and agility,” May added. “As our recent performance shows, these steps are leading to improved efficiencies and helping the company target its resources and investments on areas that have the greatest impact. At the same time, even as we ramp up factory production and intensify our efforts to serve customers, we are mindful of the continuing challenges associated with the global pandemic."
Deere & Co. shares were marked 9.25% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $328.00 each after hitting an all time high of 71%.