Deere & Company's Management Discusses F1Q2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Deere & Company ( DE)

F1Q12 Earnings Call

February 15, 2012 10:00 am ET


Tony Huegel - Director, IR

Susan Karlix - Manager, Investor Communications

Jim Field - SVP & CFO

Marie Ziegler - VP & Treasurer


Andrew Obin - Bank of America - Merrill Lynch

Andy Kaplowitz - Barclays Capital

Jamie Cook - Credit Suisse

Henry Kirn - UBS

Rob Wertheimer - Vertical Research Partners

Andy Casey - Wells Fargo Securities

Steve Volkmann - Jefferies & Co

Robert McCarthy - Robert W. Baird

Jerry Revich - Goldman Sachs

Joel Tiss - Buckingham Research

Ashish Gupta - Credit Agricole Securities

Seth Weber - RBC

David Raso - ISI Group

Ann Duignan - JPMorgan



Good morning and welcome to Deere’s first quarter earnings conference call. Your lines have been placed on listen only until the question-and-answer session of today’s conference. I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Tony Huegel, Director of Investor Relations. Thank you sir, you may begin.

Tony Huegel

Also on the call today are Jim Field, our Chief Financial Officer; Marie Ziegler, Vice President and Treasurer; and Susan Karlix, our Manager of Investor Communications. Today we’ll take a closer look at Deere’s first quarter earnings, then spend some time talking about our markets and the outlook for the remainder of 2012. After that we’ll respond to your questions.

Please note that the slides are available to complement the call this morning. They can be accessed on our website at First a reminder, this call is being broadcast live on the Internet and recorded for future transmission and use by Deere and Thompson Reuters. Any other use, recording, or transmission of any portion of this copyrighted broadcast without the expressed written consent of Deere is strictly prohibited. Participants in the call including the Q&A session agree that their likeness and remarks in all media may be stored and used as part of the earnings call.

This call includes forward-looking comments concerning the company’s projections, plans and objectives for the future that are subject to important risks and uncertainties. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially is contained in the company’s most recent Form 8-K and periodic reports filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

This call also may include financial measures that are not in conformance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America or GAAP. Additionally, information concerning these measures, including reconciliations to comparable GAAP measures is included in the release and posted on our website at under other financial information.

Now, here’s Susan.

Susan Karlix

Thank you, Tony. With this morning’s first quarter earnings announcement, John Deere has started 2012 on a strong note. Income and sales both reached new records for the first quarter of the year. It was our seventh straight quarterly record. The improvement was broad based. Ag and Turf had another strong quarter and our other division Construction & Forestry and Financial Services contributed as well. Healthy demand for farm machinery continued to play a big role in our results.

But our performance also reflected the success executing our ambitious marketing and operating plans. Best execution is especially important right now as we are adding new products in global capacity at unprecedented rates. Finally, our full-year earnings forecast has been adjusted upwards and now stands at about $3.275 billion. All in all, it was a solid start to what is expected to be another strong year.

You may have noticed the slide that looks a little different this quarter. We’ve moved slides we felt were only number updates to the appendix to allow more time for your questions. Now let’s look at the first quarter in detail starting with slide 3. Net sales and revenues were up 11% to $6.8 billion in the quarter, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $533 million.

As we noted earlier, this was the company’s seventh consecutive quarterly earnings record. Total worldwide equipment operations net sales were $6.1 billion, up 11% quarter over quarter shown on slide 4. Price realization in the quarter was positive by four points, while currency translation was a negative 1 point.

The company outlook is on slide 5. Second quarter net sales are forecasted to be up about 15% compared with the second quarter of 2011. This includes about four points of positive price realization and about three points of negative currency translation.

For the full year, net sales are expected to be up about 15% versus 2011. This includes about three points of negative currency translation which is a negative swing in currency translation of four points from our previous forecast. So effectively forecast volumes have increased by four points, all of which have been offset by exchange.

In addition we are expecting positive price realization of about four points. Remember our price realization excludes any pricing related to interim Tier 4 which is included in volumes. The full-year impact on operating profit from currency translation is negative, about $80 million. Net income attributable to Deere & Company is now projected at $3.275 billion in 2012.

Turning to a review of our individual businesses. Let’s start with Ag & Turf on slide 6. Sales were up 8% in the quarter, production tonnage was up 5%. Operating profit was $574 million resulting in an impressive 12% operating margins, the second highest margin for the Ag & Turf division in any first quarter. Price realization in higher shipment volumes benefited results, but were partially offset by increased production costs related to new products, engine-emission requirements and higher raw material costs.

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