Stock Update (NYSE:DE): Deere & Company Announces Second-Quarter Earnings of $690 Million


Net income attributable to Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) was $690.5 million, or $2.03 per share, for the second quarter ended April 30, compared with $980.7 million, or $2.65 per share, for the same period last year.


For the first six months of the year, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $1.077 billion, or $3.14 per share, compared with $1.662 billion, or $4.46 per share, last year.

Worldwide net sales and revenues decreased 18 percent, to $8.171 billion, for the second quarter and decreased 17 percent, to $14.554 billion, for six months. Net sales of the equipment operations were $7.399 billion for the quarter and $13.004 billion for six months, compared with $9.246 billion and $16.195 billion for the periods last year.

“John Deere’s second-quarter results were noteworthy in light of the weak conditions that continue to affect the global agricultural sector,” said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our performance reflected the adept execution of our operating plans and contributions of a well-rounded business lineup. Deere’s construction and forestry and financial-services divisions had higher results for the quarter, and our agriculture and turf operations remained solidly profitable despite lower demand for large models of farm machinery. We also saw benefits from our success developing a more responsive cost and asset structure, a fact that gives our performance a greater degree of resilience.”

Summary of Operations
Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations declined 20 percent for the quarter and six months compared with the same periods a year ago. Sales included price realization of 2 percent for both periods and an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 5 percent for the quarter and 4 percent for six months. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada decreased 14 percent for the quarter and year to date. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales decreased 28 percent for the quarter and six months, with unfavorable currency-translation effects of 10 percent and 8 percent for the periods.

Deere’s equipment operations reported operating profit of $828 million for the quarter and $1.242 billion for six months, compared with $1.361 billion and $2.252 billion last year. The declines for both periods were due primarily to lower shipment volumes, the impact of a less favorable product mix and the unfavorable effects of foreign-currency exchange, partially offset by price realization and lower selling, administrative and general expenses.

Net income of the company’s equipment operations was $524 million for the second quarter and $764 million for the first six months, compared with $838 million and $1.381 billion in 2014. In addition to the operating factors mentioned above, a lower effective tax rate benefited both quarterly and six-month results.

Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Company of $169.8 million for the quarter and $326.6 million for six months compared with $147.7 million and $289.9 million last year. The quarter’s improvement was primarily due to a gain on the previously announced sale of the crop insurance business, partially offset by less favorable financing spreads. Benefiting year-to-date results was the crop insurance divestiture and higher crop insurance margins prior to the sale, as well as growth in the credit portfolio. These factors were partially offset by less favorable financing spreads. Last year’s six-month results benefited from a more favorable effective tax rate.

Company Outlook & Summary
Company equipment sales are projected to decrease about 19 percent for fiscal 2015 and to be about 17 percent lower for the third quarter compared with year-ago periods. Included in the forecast is a negative foreign-currency translation effect of about 4 percent for the full year and 6 percent for the third quarter. For fiscal 2015, net income attributable to Deere & Company is anticipated to be about $1.9 billion.

“John Deere expects to be solidly profitable in 2015, with the year ranking among our stronger ones in sales and earnings despite the pullback in the farm sector,” Allen said. “Such an achievement illustrates our success establishing a wider range of revenue sources and a more durable business model. All in all, we remain confident in the company’s present direction and in its ability to meet customer needs for advanced machinery and innovative services in the years ahead.”

Equipment Division Performance

    • Agriculture & Turf. Sales fell 25 percent for the quarter and 26 percent for six months due largely to lower shipment volumes and the unfavorable effects of currency translation. These factors were partially offset by price realization.Operating profit was $639 million for the quarter and $907 million year to date, compared with $1.229 billion and $2.026 billion, respectively, last year. Lower results for both periods were driven primarily by lower shipment volumes and a less favorable sales mix, partially offset by price realization and lower selling, administrative and general expenses. Additionally, results for the quarter were impacted by the unfavorable effects of foreign-currency exchange.

 

  • Construction & Forestry. Construction and forestry sales increased 2 percent for the quarter and 7 percent for six months mainly as a result of higher shipment volumes and price realization.Operating profit was $189 million for the quarter and $335 million for six months, compared with $132 million and $226 million for the corresponding periods last year. Operating profit improved for the quarter mainly due to price realization and lower selling, administrative and general expenses, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of foreign- currency exchange. Six-month results were higher primarily due to higher shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by unfavorable foreign-currency exchange effects.


Market Conditions & Outlook

    • Agriculture & Turf. Deere’s worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to decrease by about 24 percent for fiscal-year 2015, including a negative currency-translation effect of about 5 percent.Lower commodity prices and falling farm incomes are putting pressure on demand for agricultural machinery, especially for larger models. Conditions are more positive in the U.S. livestock sector, supporting the sale of smaller sizes of equipment. Based on these factors, industry sales for agricultural equipment in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be down about 25 percent for 2015.

      Full-year 2015 industry sales in the EU28 are forecast to be down about 10 percent, with the decline attributable to lower crop prices and farm incomes as well as pressure on the dairy sector. In South America, industry sales of tractors and combines are projected to be down 15 to 20 percent mainly as a result of economic uncertainty in Brazil and higher interest rates on government-sponsored financing. Industry sales in the Commonwealth of Independent States are expected to be down significantly due to economic pressures and tight credit conditions in the region. Asian sales are projected to be down modestly, with most of the decline occurring in China and India.

      Industry sales of turf and utility equipment in the U.S. and Canada are expected to be flat to up 5 percent for 2015, benefiting from general economic growth.

 

    • Construction & Forestry. Deere’s worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to increase by about 2 percent for 2015, including a negative currency-translation effect of about 3 percent.The sales improvement reflects economic growth and higher housing starts in the U.S. offset in part by weakening conditions in the energy sector and energy-producing regions as well as lower sales outside the U.S. and Canada. Global forestry sales are expected to hold steady with the attractive levels of 2014, as gains in the U.S. and Europe are offset by declines elsewhere.

 

  • Financial Services. Fiscal-year 2015 net income attributable to Deere & Company for the financial services operations is expected to be approximately $630 million. The outlook reflects an increase from last year primarily due to the gain on the sale of the crop insurance business and growth in the credit portfolio, partially offset by less favorable financing spreads, an expected increase in the provision for credit losses from 2014’s low level, and a less favorable tax rate.(Original Source)

Shares of Deere & Company closed yesterday at $89.46 . DE has a 1-year high of $93.78 and a 1-year low of $78.88. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $89.26 and its 200-day moving average is $88.08.

On the ratings front, Deere & Company has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, J.P. Morgan analyst Ann Duignan downgraded DE to Sell, with a price target of $84, which implies a downside of 6.1% from current levels. Separately, on February 24, UBS’s Steven Fisher assigned a Sell rating to the stock and has a price target of $72.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Ann Duignan and Steven Fisher have a total average return of 3.4% and 10.4% respectively. Duignan has a success rate of 66.7% and is ranked #1458 out of 3607 analysts, while Fisher has a success rate of 61.7% and is ranked #740.

Deere & Company operates in three business segments: agriculture/ turf, construction/forestry, & financial services. The company helps customers to be more productive as they help to improve the quality of life for people around the world.