Although Deere's second-quarter profit fell nearly 30% year over year to $690.5 million, or $2.03 a share, it still topped analysts' expectations for earnings of $1.55 a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue also fell almost 18% to about $8.1 billion, which also topped estimates of $7.5 billion.
Deere said lower commodity prices and falling farm incomes are putting pressure on demand for agricultural machinery, especially for larger models. The company said the better-than-expected results were aided by solid execution and cost management.
Chairman and chief executive officer Samuel Allen said in a statement the company's second-quarter results were "noteworthy in light of the weak conditions that continue to affect the global agricultural sector. Our performance reflected the adept execution of our operating plans and contributions of a well-rounded business lineup."
Deere's construction and forestry and financial-services divisions had higher results for the quarter, he added, and agriculture and turf operations remained "solidly profitable despite lower demand for large models of farm machinery."
Deere did warn that equipment sales are projected to decrease about 19% for fiscal 2015 and to be about 17% lower for the third quarter compared with year-ago periods. The company attributed that in part to the strong U.S. dollar. Included in the forecast is a negative foreign-currency translation effect of about 4% for the full year and 6% for the third quarter. Still, despite a slowdown in the global farm economy, Deere raised its full-year profit forecast to $1.9 billion from $1.8 billion.
TheStreet Ratings team rates DEERE & CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate DEERE & CO (DE) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: DE Ratings Report