Net income attributable to Deere & Company was $243.2 million, or $0.57 per share, for the first quarter ended January 31, compared with $203.9 million, or $0.48 per share, for the same period last year. This is according to a corporate report released on February 17.
Worldwide net sales and revenues declined 6 percent, to $4.835 billion, for the first quarter compared with $5.146 billion a year ago. Net sales of the equipment operations were $4.237 billion for the period compared with $4.560 billion last year.
"Results for the quarter reflected solid execution of our operating and marketing plans throughout the company and are especially gratifying in light of global economic conditions that remain stubbornly weak," said Samuel R. Allen, president and chief executive officer. "We are clearly seeing benefit from efforts to win customers with advanced new products while taking cost and asset discipline to an even higher level."
Summary of Operations
Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations decreased 7 percent for the quarter, including a favorable currency-translation effect of 5 percent and improved price realization of 2 percent. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada declined 8 percent for the quarter. Net sales outside the United States and Canada were down 6 percent, with a favorable currency-translation effect of 12 percent.
Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $315 million for the quarter, compared with $307 million last year. The improvement primarily was due to lower raw-material costs, improved price realization and the favorable effects of foreign exchange and product mix. Partially offsetting these factors were lower shipment and production volumes and higher postretirement benefit costs.
The company's focus on disciplined asset management continued to produce solid results. Trade receivables and inventories ended the quarter at $5.873 billion, representing a reduction of $1.439 billion, or 20 percent, from a year ago. Trade receivables and inventories at the end of the quarter were equal to 29 percent of previous 12-month sales compared with $7.312 billion, or 28 percent of sales, last year.
Net income of the company's financial services operations was $85.1 million for the quarter compared with $46.8 million last year. Results were higher primarily due to improved financing spreads.
Company Outlook and Summary
Company equipment sales are projected to be up 6 to 8 percent for fiscal 2010 and up 4 to 6 percent for the second quarter compared with the same periods a year ago. Included is a favorable currency-translation impact of about 3 percent for the year and about 5 percent for the quarter. For the full year, net income attributable to Deere & Company is anticipated to be approximately $1.3 billion.
According to Allen, the company's focus on rigorous cost and asset management puts Deere on a strong footing to respond to a recovery in the global economy and, longer term, to help meet a growing need for food, shelter and infrastructure. Said Allen, "In our view, positive developments based on the world's prospects for population and economic growth hold great potential and should help our company deliver value to customers and investors well into the future."