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Deere Earnings Dry Up

The shares tank on a wide earnings miss.
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Deere & Co.

(DE) - Get Deere & Company Report

reported weak third-quarter earnings Tuesday that reflected production cuts marshaled to cope with drought-deflated demand in several parts of the country.

The farm-equipment maker earned $387.1 million, or $1.58 a share, in the quarter, compared with earnings of $401.4 million, or $1.58 a share, a year ago. Sales rose 11% from a year ago to $6.0 billion, while net sales from equipment operations rose 10.7% to $5.37 billion.

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Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.90 a share on sales of $5.62 billion.

"Drought has definitely put pressure on our retail-sales forecasts and caused us to accelerate production cuts in several of our key factories late in the quarter," Lane said. "These actions have the effect of lowering earnings in the near term, but they are fully consistent with our longer-range commitments and goals for delivering shareholder value."

Deere said its equipment division's operating profit fell 6% to $500 million in the second quarter, reflecting lowered manufacturing volume of farm and consumer equipment.

Excluding currency and price changes, Deere expects its equipment sales to fall by 13% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, while production will be down 23% in the quarter. Deere expects to earn $175 million to $200 million in the fourth quarter, about $100 million short of estimates.

The shares lost $5.16, or 7.1%, to $67.65 ahead of the bell.