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MOLINE, Ill. (


) --


(DE) - Get Deere & Company Report

reported an increase in first-quarter earnings, blowing away analyst estimates, and foresees a rise in equipment sales amid rigorous cost and asset management.

Deere projects equipment sales to be up 6% to 8% for fiscal 2010 from a year ago. The projection includes a favorable currency impact.

For the first quarter, Deere reported net income of $243.2 million, or 57 cents a share, compared with $203.9 million, 48 cents a share, a year ago. The company posted total net sales of $4.2 billion, down from $4.56 billion, as net sales of worldwide equipment operations decreased.

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Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Deere to report first-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share on sales of $4.12 billion.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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