NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What will TheStreet's Jim Cramer be watching Friday? Farm equipment maker John Deere (DE) - Get Deere & Company Report, which reports its fiscal third-quarter results before the market opens.
Wall Street analysts are expecting earnings of $1.44 a share, down from $2.33 in the same period last year. Revenue forecasts are for $7.17 billion, down from $8.72 billion last year. Lower prices of crops such as soybean and corn have resulted in falling global sales of farm equipment in the past year as farmers are less inclined to spend money on new equipment.
"My feeling with Deere is that they're going to talk about grain prices, and grain prices have come down, which means that what you want to do is you want to be careful," Cramer advised. "Deere might report a decent number and then talk things down on the conference call. I say stay away from Deere. It's just too hard right now.'
Earlier this year, the 178-year-old company announced that it expected the farm equipment market to bottom out this year but that it expects things to pick back up in 2016. On the earnings call, investors will pay close attention to any updates for 2016 equipment orders.
Even amid the struggles, Deere, the world's largest maker of farm equipment, still expects to remain profitable in 2015 and 2016. The company has implemented initiatives to help offset weak equipment sales, including financing the sale and leasing of equipment from their dealers.
The company may also benefit from an improvement in the housing sector. The Commerce Department announced Tuesday housing starts rose 0.2% in July. Cramer said Deere's performance is often seen as an economic indicator, so earnings will be important for the overall market. Besides agricultural, construction and forestry machinery, Deere makes diesel engines that are used in heavy equipment and is known for its lawn care equipment.
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 good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. 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
At the time of publication, Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS held no positions in stocks mentioned.