- Improving demand for farm and construction equipment leads to higher second-quarter results.
- Key markets show signs of further stabilization.
- Sound execution, broad business lineup benefit performance.
- Results include gain on sale of partial interest in SiteOne affiliate.
- Full-year earnings forecast increased to $2 billion, on 9% sales gain.
MOLINE, Ill. — Net income attributable to Deere & Co. was $802.4 million, or $2.49 per share, for the second quarter ended April 30, 2017, compared with $495.4 million, or $1.56 per share, for the period ended May 1, 2016.
For the first six months of the year, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $996.2 million, or $3.10 per share, compared with $749.8 million, or $2.36 per share, last year.
Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 5% to $8.287 billion, for the second quarter and increased 4%, to $13.912 billion, for six months. Net sales of the equipment operations were $7.260 billion for the quarter and $11.958 billion for the first six months, compared with $7.107 billion and $11.876 billion for the same periods last year.
"John Deere reported strong results in the second quarter as market conditions showed signs of further stabilization," said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. "We are seeing modestly higher overall demand for our products, with farm machinery sales in South America experiencing a strong recovery. Deere's performance also reflects the sound execution of our operating plans, the strength of a broad product portfolio, and the impact of our actions to develop a more agile cost structure. As a result, we have raised our forecast and are now calling for significantly higher earnings for the full year."
Summary of Operations
Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations increased 2% for the quarter and 1% for the first six months compared with the same periods a year ago. Sales included price realization of 2% for both periods. Foreign-currency rates did not have a material translation effect on net sales for either the quarter or first six months compared with the same periods in the prior year. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada decreased 5% for the quarter and were down 6% for the first six months. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales increased 14% for the quarter and 13% for the first six months, with no material effect of currency translation in either period.
Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $1.111 billion for the quarter and $1.358 billion for six months, compared with $688 million and $902 million, respectively, last year. The improvement for the quarter was primarily driven by price realization, the impact of a favorable sales mix, favorable effects of foreign-currency exchange and higher shipment volumes, partially offset by higher warranty costs. Improved year-to-date results benefited from price realization, a favorable sales mix, and higher shipment volumes, partially offset by expenses associated with the previously announced voluntary employee-separation program and higher warranty costs. Additionally, quarterly and year-to-date results were aided significantly by a gain on the sale of a partial interest in the unconsolidated affiliate SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc. (SiteOne).
Net income of the company's equipment operations was $694 million for the second quarter and $774 million for the first six months, compared with $393 million and $520 million for the corresponding periods of 2016. In addition to the operating factors mentioned above, a higher effective tax rate reduced results for the first six months of 2017.
Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Co. of $103.5 million for the quarter and $217.9 million for six months compared with $102.6 million and $232.0 million last year. Results for the quarter benefited from lower losses on lease residual values, largely offset by less-favorable financing spreads and higher selling, administrative and general expenses. Year-to-date results were affected by less-favorable financing spreads and higher selling, administrative and general expenses, including voluntary employee-separation expenses, partially offset by lower losses on lease residual values.
Company Outlook & Summary
Company equipment sales are projected to increase about 9% for fiscal 2017 and to rise about 18% for the third quarter compared with the same periods of 2016. Foreign-currency rates are not expected to have a material translation effect on equipment sales for the year or third quarter. Net sales and revenues are projected to increase about 9% for fiscal 2017 with net income attributable to Deere & Co. of about $2.0 billion.
"Deere is demonstrating a continuing ability to produce impressive results through all phases of the business cycle," Allen said. "This resilience illustrates our success driving improved operating efficiencies and developing a wider range of revenue sources. It also shows the impact of the company's consistent investments in advanced technology, new products and additional markets. These actions are leading to strong performance in 2017, and they reinforce our conviction that Deere is well-positioned to deliver significant value to customers and investors over the long term."
Equipment Division Performance
- Agriculture & Turf. Sales increased 1% for the quarter and first six months primarily due to price realization. Year-to-date results were also affected by lower shipment volumes.
Operating profit was $1.003 billion for the quarter and $1.215 billion year to date, compared with respective totals of $614 million and $759 million last year. Results for the quarter benefited from a more favorable sales mix, price realization and the favorable effects of foreign exchange. For the first six months, results were helped by price realization and a more-favorable sales mix, partially offset by voluntary employee-separation expenses. The gain on the sale of a partial interest in SiteOne made a significant contribution to the division's results for both periods.
- Construction & Forestry. Construction and forestry sales increased 7% for the quarter and 1% for six months, mainly as a result of higher shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by higher warranty costs.
Operating profit was $108 million for the quarter and $143 million for six months, compared with $74 million and $143 million last year. Results for the quarter were assisted by increased shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by higher warranty costs and a less-favorable sales mix. For the first six months, results were about the same as in the prior period and were affected by the same operating factors as for the quarter, as well as by voluntary employee-separation expenses.
Market Conditions & Outlook
- Agriculture & Turf. Deere's worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to increase by about 8% for fiscal-year 2017, with currency translation not expected to have a material effect. Industry sales for agricultural equipment in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be down about 5% for 2017, reflecting weakness in the livestock sector and the continuing impact of low crop prices. The decline is affecting both large and small equipment.
Full-year 2017 industry sales in the EU28 member nations are forecast to be flat to down 5% due to low commodity prices and farm incomes. In South America, industry sales of tractors and combines are projected to be up about 20% as a result of improving economic and political conditions in Brazil and Argentina. Asian sales are projected to be flat to up slightly, benefiting from higher sales in India.
Industry sales of turf and utility equipment in the U.S. and Canada are expected to be about flat for 2017.
- Construction & Forestry. Deere's worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to be up about 13% for 2017, with no material currency-translation impact. The forecast reflects moderate economic growth worldwide. In forestry, global industry sales are expected to be down about 5 percent due to soft conditions in North America.
- Financial Services. Fiscal-year 2017 net income attributable to Deere & Co. for the financial services operations is expected to be approximately $475 million. In comparison with performance in 2016, the outlook reflects lower losses on lease residual values, partially offset by less-favorable financing spreads and an increased provision for credit losses.