Tuesday, April 20

Deere’s earnings fall on trade tensions, poor weather

FILE PHOTO: John Deere equipment is seen at a John Deere dealership in Taylor, Texas, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Deere & Co. (DE.N) on Wednesday reported lower fourth-quarter earnings, hurt by trade tensions as well as poor weather in the U.S. farm belt that have slowed equipment purchases by farmers.

For the quarter ended on Nov. 3, it reported an adjusted profit of $2.14 per share, down from $2.30 per share last year. That compares with average analyst estimates of $2.13 per share, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

The Moline, Illinois-based company said it expects net income of $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion in the fiscal 2020. The forecast is lower than average analyst estimates of $3.5 billion for the year.

“Lingering trade tensions coupled with a year of difficult growing and harvesting conditions have caused many farmers to become cautious about making major investments in new equipment,” said new chief executive officer John May.

Deere’s worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to decline 5% to 10% next year. Industry sales of agricultural equipment in the U.S. and Canada, the company’s biggest market, are expected to be down about 5%, on the back of lower demand for large equipment.

Sales at the company’s construction and forestry division are expected to be down 10% to 15% in 2020.

Deere’s shares, which have gained about 19% this year, were down 4.3% in pre-market trade.

Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh, editing by Louise Heavens and Chizu Nomiyama

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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