Moline-based Deere & Co. reported Friday net income of $899 million for the third quarter ended July 28, 2019, or $2.81 per share, compared with net income of $910 million, or $2.78 per share, for the quarter ended July 29, 2018.
For the first nine months of the year, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $2.532 billion, or $7.87 per share, compared with $1.584 billion, or $4.82 per share, for the same period last year.
Affecting 2019 and 2018 results were charges or benefits to the provision for income taxes due to U.S. tax reform legislation.
Worldwide net sales and revenues decreased 3 percent, to $10.036 billion, for the third quarter of 2019 and increased 5 percent, to $29.362 billion, for nine months.
Net sales of the equipment operations were $8.969 billion for the quarter and $26.182 billion for nine months, compared with $9.286 billion and $25.007 billion last year.
“John Deere’s third-quarter results reflected the high degree of uncertainty that continues to overshadow the agricultural sector,” said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. “Concerns about export-market access, near-term demand for commodities such as soybeans, and overall crop conditions, have caused many farmers to postpone major equipment purchases. At the same time, general economic conditions remain positive and are contributing to strong results for Deere’s construction and forestry business.”
Company Outlook & Summary
Company equipment sales are projected to increase by about 4 percent for fiscal 2019 compared with 2018. Included in the forecast are Wirtgen results for the full fiscal year of 2019 compared with 10 months of the prior year.
This adds about 1 percent to the company’s net sales forecast for the current year.
Also included is a negative foreign-currency translation effect of about 2 percent for the year. Net sales and revenues are projected to increase about 5 percent for fiscal 2019. Net income attributable to Deere & Company is forecast to be about $3.2 billion.
“In spite of present challenges, the long-term outlook for our businesses remains healthy and points to a promising future,” Allen said. “We continue to expand our global customer base and are encouraged by response to our lineup of advanced products and services. Furthermore, we are fully committed to the successful execution of our strategic plan focused on achieving sustainable profitable growth. In support of the strategy, we are conducting a thorough assessment of our cost structure and initiating a series of actions to make the organization more structurally efficient and profitable.”
Deere & Co.
Net income in the third quarter and first nine months of 2019 was favorably affected by discrete adjustments to the provision for income taxes related to tax reform of $32 million and $27 million for the respective periods. (Information on non-GAAP financial measures is included in the appendix.) Results were favorably affected by $61 million in the third quarter of 2018 and unfavorably affected by $741 million for the nine-month period due to discrete adjustments to the provision for income taxes related to tax reform.
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For a discussion of net sales and operating profit results, see the Agriculture & Turf and Construction & Forestry sections below. Wirtgen results are included for the full year-to-date period of 2019 while the prior year reflected seven months of the respective period. The two additional months added about 2 percent to the company’s year-to-date net sales. Net income in the third quarter and first nine months of 2019 was favorably affected by discrete adjustments to the provision for income taxes.
Agriculture & Turf
Agriculture & Turf sales decreased for the quarter due to lower shipment volumes and the unfavorable effects of currency translation, partially offset by price realization. Year-to-date sales increased mainly as a result of price realization and increased shipment volumes, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of currency translation. Operating profit declined for the quarter primarily due to lower shipment volumes, higher production costs, and the unfavorable effects of foreign-currency exchange, partially offset by price realization. Nine-month operating profit moved lower resulting from higher production costs, the unfavorable effects of currency translation, increased research and development costs, and a less-favorable sales mix. These factors were partially offset by price realization and higher shipment volumes.
Construction & Forestry
Construction & Forestry sales were higher for the quarter and nine months primarily due to price realization, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of currency translation. Nine-month sales also benefited from higher shipment volumes. The inclusion of Wirtgen’s sales for two additional months accounted for about 6 percent of the year-to-date net sales increase. Wirtgen’s operating profit was $159 million for the quarter and $275 million for nine months, compared with $88 million and $37 million for the corresponding periods last year. Excluding Wirtgen, the improvement in Construction & Forestry results for the quarter was driven by price realization, partially offset by a less-favorable sales mix. Year-to-date operating profit, excluding Wirtgen, increased mainly due to price realization and higher shipment volumes, partially offset by higher production costs and the unfavorable effects of currency exchange.
Excluding tax-reform adjustments, the increase in financial services net income for the quarter was due to income earned on a higher average portfolio and favorable discrete adjustments to the provision for income taxes, partially offset by higher losses on operating-lease residual values and unfavorable financing spreads. Nine-month net income, adjusted for the tax-reform items, declined due to unfavorable financing spreads and higher losses on operating-lease residual values, largely offset by income earned on a higher average portfolio and favorable discrete adjustments to the provision for income taxes.
Agriculture & Turf
Agriculture & Turf. Industry sales of agricultural equipment are expected to be about the same as last year for the U.S. and Canada as well as for the EU28-member nations. South American industry sales of tractors and combines are projected to be flat to up 5 percent benefiting from strength in Brazil. Asian sales are forecast to be flat to down slightly. Industry sales of turf and utility equipment in the U.S. and Canada are expected to be flat to up 5 percent for 2019.
Construction & Forestry
The Construction & Forestry forecast includes a full year of Wirtgen sales, versus 10 months in fiscal 2018, with the two additional months adding about 4 percent to division sales for the year. The outlook reflects generally positive fundamentals and economic growth worldwide. In forestry, global industry sales are expected to be flat to up 5 percent mainly as a result of improved demand in EU28 countries and Russia.
Results are expected to benefit from a higher average portfolio and favorable adjustments to the provision for income taxes, largely offset by less-favorable financing spreads, higher losses on operating-lease residual values, and a higher provision for credit losses. Financial services net income for 2018 was $942 million, which included a tax benefit related to tax reform of $341 million. Without the tax benefit, net income would have been $601 million.
John Deere Capital Corporation
The following is disclosed on behalf of the company’s financial services subsidiary, John Deere Capital Corporation (JDCC), in connection with the disclosure requirements applicable to its periodic issuance of debt securities in the public market.
Prior-year results for the third quarter and year to date included a favorable provision for income taxes associated with tax reform. Results for the current quarter and first nine months included income from a higher average portfolio and favorable discrete adjustments to the provision for income taxes, partially offset by less-favorable financing spreads and higher losses on operating-lease residual values.