Deere & Co. this week announced record fourth-quarter earnings of $669.6 million, or $1.62 per share, for the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with $457.2 million, or $1.07 per share, for the same period last year, a 32-percent increase.
For fiscal 2011, net income attributable to Deere & Co. was $2.8 billion, or $6.63 per share, compared with $1.865 billion, or $4.35 per share, last year.
Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 20 percent, to $8.61 billion, for the fourth quarter and were up 23 percent to $32.01 billion for the full year. Net sales of the equipment operations were $7.90 billion for the quarter and $29.47 billion for full-year 2011, compared with $6.56 billion and $23.57 billion for the corresponding periods last year.
"John Deere has completed another year of exceptional achievement," said Samuel Allen, chairman and CEO. "Our success reflects a continued pattern of strong customer response to our innovative lines of equipment coupled with the skillful execution of business plans aimed at expanding our global competitive position."
During the year, Deere introduced a record number of products and announced plans for six new factories, in China, Brazil and India. "John Deere's record performance is a further tribute to our operating model, which stresses rigorous cost management and asset efficiency," Allen said. "As a result, we are achieving unprecedented financial results and generating healthy levels of cash flow. These dollars are funding growth throughout the world and also are being shared directly with investors in the form of dividends and share repurchases."
Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations increased 20 percent for the quarter and 25 percent for the year. Sales included a favorable currency-translation effect of 2 percent for the quarter and 3 percent for the year and price increases of 3 percent for both periods. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada rose 14 percent for the quarter and 17 percent for the year. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales were up 31 percent and 38 percent for the respective periods, with favorable currency-translation effects of 4 percent and 7 percent.
Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $955 million for the quarter and $3.84 billion for the year, compared with $716 million and $2.91 billion last year. Results were better for both periods largely due to higher shipment volumes and improved price realization. These factors were partially offset by increased raw-material costs, higher manufacturing-overhead costs related to new products, and higher research and development expenses.
Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Co. of $122.1 million for the quarter and $471.0 million for the year compared with $98.4 million and $372.5 million, respectively, last year. Results for both periods benefited from growth in the credit portfolio and a lower provision for credit losses, partially offset by narrower financing spreads and a higher effective tax rate.
In spite of an unsettled global economy, demand for John Deere products is expected to experience substantial growth in fiscal-year 2012 and the company is forecasting further increases in sales and earnings as a result. Company equipment sales are projected to increase about 15 percent for the year and to be up 16 to 18 percent for the first quarter compared with the same periods of 2011. For the full year, net income attributable to Deere & Co. is anticipated to be approximately $3.2 billion.
Supported by record 2011 performance, John Deere remains well-positioned to carry out its extensive growth plans and capitalize on positive long-term economic trends Allen said.
Deere & Co. is headquartered in Moline, Ill.