Deere Reports Earnings, Allen Resigns as Board Chair

Deere recently reported better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results and said the U.S. farming industry is showing signs of improvement.

The company reported first-quarter profit jumped 3.8 percent year over year. Revenue slumped 4.4 percent.

“John Deere’s first-quarter performance reflected early signs of stabilization in the U.S. farm sector,” CEO John May said. “Farmer confidence, though still subdued, has improved, due in part to hopes for a relaxation of trade tensions and higher agricultural exports.”

Sales at Deere’s agriculture and turf division fell 4 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The sales drop came amid lower shipment volumes and unfavorable foreign-exchange fluctuations, which were partially offset by higher prices, the company said.

While Deere’s farm business is showing signs of bottoming, activity in the construction industry, another key market, has slowed, too, causing the company to reduce production and lower inventories. Sales from the company’s construction and forestry unit slumped 10 percent.

Looking ahead, Deere expects sales at its agriculture and turf segment to decline by 5 percent to 10 percent amid lower demand for large equipment in Canada.

In other Deere news, after a 45-year career, Samuel R. Allen has elected to retire May 1 from his role as chairman of the Deere Board of Directors. John C. May, the company’s chief executive officer, was elected by the board to succeed Allen.

The moves are part of the company’s systematic process of leadership transition. Allen has been chairman of the board of directors since 2010. May was named to succeed Allen as CEO in November 2019.

Sources: Fox Business, Ag Equipment Intelligence