Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. this week announced first-quarter net income of $513.7 million, or $1.20 per share, for its fiscal first quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with $243.2 million, or $0.57 per share, for the same period last year.
Worldwide net sales and revenues for the first quarter increased 27 percent, to $6.12 billion, compared with $4.84 billion last year. Net sales of the equipment operations were $5.51 billion for the quarter compared with $4.24 billion a year ago.
"John Deere's first-quarter results reflect improving demand for our innovative lines of equipment coupled with the skillful execution of our business plans," said Samuel Allen, chairman and CEO. "Our actions are helping attract customers through advanced new products and technologies. Sales of large farm machinery, particularly in the United States and Canada, are continuing to make a major impact, while construction equipment shipments are experiencing some degree of recovery. Our record first-quarter performance is especially gratifying in light of market conditions that remain below normal levels in certain key sectors."
Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations rose 30 percent for the quarter. Sales included price increases of 2 percent. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada increased 35 percent for the quarter. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales were up 22 percent for the quarter, with an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 1 percent.
Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $646 million for the quarter, compared with $315 million last year. Benefiting the quarter were higher shipment and production volumes as well as improved price realization, partially offset by increases in raw material costs and higher incentive-compensation expenses.
Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Co. of $118.2 million for the quarter compared with $85.1 million last year. Results increased for the quarter primarily because of portfolio growth and a lower provision for credit losses.
The company now projects equipment sales to be up 18 to 20 percent for fiscal 2011 and up about 25 percent for the second quarter compared with the same periods of the previous year. Included is a favorable currency-translation impact of about 2 percent for the year and the quarter. Net income attributable to Deere & Co. is anticipated to be approximately $2.5 billion for the full year.
Construction and forestry sales climbed 81 percent in the quarter, resulting in operating profit of $88 million. Last year the division had an operating loss of $37 million for the quarter. Contributing to the increase were significantly higher shipment and production volumes as well as improved price realization, partially offset by increased raw-material costs and higher incentive-compensation expenses. The company expects construction equipment sales to independent rental companies to increase during the coming year.
Deere forecasts its worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment to rise by about 35 percent for 2011. The increase reflects market conditions that are somewhat improved in relation to the prior year's low level.
Net income attributable to John Deere Capital Corp. in the first quarter was $83.8 million compared with $63.9 million last year. Results were better for the quarter primarily due to growth in the portfolio and a lower provision for credit losses.