Deere profit tops as demand slump not as bad as feared

(Reuters) – Deere & Co (DE.N) topped quarterly estimates for profit on Friday as demand for farm equipment fell less than feared and the company kept a tight lid on costs.

Deere typically sees a pick-up in sales of farm equipment after January as farmers start purchasing equipment to plant fields.

That likely helped demand for farm machinery hold up better than its construction and forestry equipment sales during the second quarter.

Deere, which gets nearly two-thirds of its revenue from farm and turf machinery, said sales in the unit fell 18% to $5.97 billion, compared with a 25% decline in construction and forestry equipment sales, which stood at $2.26 billion.

It expects fiscal 2020 profit in a range of $1.6 billion to $2 billion.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $666 million, or $2.11 per share, for the quarter ended May 3, from $1.14 billion, or $3.52 per share, a year earlier.

Total net sales fell 20% to $8.22 billion. (bit.ly/2A3mEn2)

Analysts on average expected Deere to earn $1.62 per share, on revenue $7.69 billion.

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