Deere & Co. (DE) posted weaker-than-expected earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter Wednesday and indicated that global sales growth would slow next year amid trade and geopolitical tensions.
Deere said adjusted earnings for the the three months ending on October 28 came in at $2.30 per share, up 46% from the same period last year but just shy of the Street's $2.45 per share forecast. Group sales rose 17% to $9.416 billion, topping the consensus forecast, but the world's largest tractor maker said that a stronger U.S. dollar and slower global demand would mean net sales will rise only 7% for its 2019 fiscal year and sees net income of around $3.6 billion, compared to an adjusted $3.073 billion for fiscal 2018.
"In our view, the company remains well-positioned to capitalize on growth in the world's agricultural and construction equipment markets" said CEO Sam Allen. "The replacement cycle for farm machinery is very much alive, despite tensions over global trade and other geopolitical issues. In addition, we are experiencing a strong response to the advanced features and technology found in our new products, which are helping attract customers throughout the world."
"Based on these factors, we remain confident in the company's present direction and believe Deere is poised to deliver improved operating performance and significant value to its customers and investors in the future," he added.
Deere & Co. shares were marked 1.5% higher at the opening bell, however, and traded at $139.65 each, a move that trims the stock's year-to-date decline to around 12% and values the Moline, Ill.-based industrial group at just over $44 billion.