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Deere 3Q Earnings Rise 68 Percent

Deere & Co. reported worldwide net income of $247.5 million, or $1.02 per share, for the third quarter ended July 31, a 68 percent increase over last year's $147.6 million, or 61 cents per share. Deere officials credited increased purchases by rental companies as a major factor in the increase.

For the first nine months, net income was $572.4 million, or $2.37 per share, compared with $251.2 million, or $1.04 per share, last year.

“These results build on the success of prior quarters and reflect strong sales of new products and the company's ongoing efforts to hold down costs and operate more efficiently at lower asset levels,” said Robert Lane, chairman and CEO. “We have achieved increased profitability in our construction and forestry, and commercial and consumer operations, which more than offset our planned lower production volumes in the agricultural equipment division.”

Worldwide net sales and revenues grew 11 percent to $4.4 billion for the third quarter compared with a year ago and increased 11 percent to $11.6 billion for the nine months. Net sales were $3.8 billion for the quarter and $110 billion for the nine months, compared with $3.4 billion and $8.8 billion, respectively last year.

Net sales for both periods increased primarily because of higher physical volumes of commercial and consumer equipment and construction and forestry equipment. Exchange rates and price realization also had a favorable impact on this year's sales.

Deere's equipment operations had net income of $152.5 million for the quarter and $329 million for the nine months, compared with $91.3 million and $75.6 million, respectively, last year.

Sales in the Construction and Forestry Division rose 29 percent for the quarter and 25 percent for the nine months as a result of improved replacement demand. Deere sales have risen strongly in virtually all market categories, including forestry and rental. As a result, sales of Deere construction and forestry equipment are now expected to be up 18 percent for the year.

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