John Deere beats analysts' projections, but stock price slips

Some analysts believe third-quarter results represent peak in current farm cycle.

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Farm, construction and forestry equipment maker Deere & Co. on Wednesday posted third-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts' projections, but its stock price slipped nearly 2 percent on concerns about the rest of the year.

The Moline, Ill., company, which has manufacturing plants in Dubuque and Waterloo, recorded net income of $997 million, or $2.56 a share in the quarter that ended on July 31, up from $788 million, or $1.98 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $10 billion, up from $9.6 billion a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected Deere to report a profit of $2.17 a share on sales of $9.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Some analysts believe the third-quarter results represent a peak for the company in the current farm cycle. While raising its earnings estimate for the year to $3.45 billion, Deere also said fourth-quarter sales are expected to be 5 percent lower than a year earlier.

Deere Chief Executive Officer Samuel Allen attributed the company's jump in earnings and revenues to a strong farm sector in North and South America. But Allen also sounded a note of caution, saying the company was "keeping a close watch on costs and assets."

Deere said sales of farm equipment rose 8 percent during the quarter. Sales of construction and forestry equipment fell 11 percent.

Deere stock closed at $82.34 per share on Wednesday, off $1.57 or 1.87 percent.

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