Deere and Co. announced record earnings of $3.54 billion after income rose 17 percent, and earnings per share rose 21 percent in the fourth quarter. And while construction equipment sales decreased 8 percent for the quarter and full year, the company expects construction equipment revenues to increase 10 percent in 2014.
“Deere’s performance is a testament to our ability to execute our business plans, which stress the rigorous management of costs and assets,” said Samuel R. Allen, president and chief executive officer. “This has led to an all-time high in profitability, as measured by operating return on operating assets, and record earnings for the last three years. In addition, the company has delivered healthy levels of cash flow, which has been used to fund global growth programs and provide direct benefit to investors through dividends and share repurchases.”
Net income attributable to Deere & Co. was $806.8 million, or $2.11 per share, for the fourth quarter ended October 31, compared with $687.6 million, or $1.75 per share, for the same period last year. For fiscal 2013, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $3.537 billion, or $9.09 per share, compared with $3.065 billion, or $7.63 per share, in 2012.
Worldwide net sales and revenues decreased 3 percent, to $9.451 billion, for the fourth quarter and increased 5 percent, to $37.795 billion, for the full year. Net sales of the equipment operations were $8.624 billion for the quarter and $34.998 billion for the year, compared with $9.047 billion and $33.501 billion for the same periods in 2012.
“With our strong financial results in the fourth quarter, John Deere has wrapped up another year of impressive achievement,” said Allen. Income for the periods was higher than in any previous fourth quarter or full year, he pointed out. “During the year, Deere continued with a record number of product introductions and completed seven new factories, in Brazil, Russia, India and China. These products and additional capacity are essential to helping the company expand its global customer base and realize its long-term business objectives.
The company’s Construction and Forestry division sales decreased 8 percent for the quarter and the full year mainly as a result of lower shipment volumes, partially offset by price realization. Operating profit was $118 million for the quarter and $378 million for the year, compared with $120 million and $476 million in 2012. Results were slightly lower for the quarter primarily because of reduced shipment volumes and higher selling, administrative and general expenses, mostly offset by price realization and lower production costs. Full-year results decreased mainly due to lower shipment volumes, a less favorable product mix, increases in production costs, and higher selling, administrative and general expenses. These factors were partially offset by price realization, the company said.