Dow Jones Newswires: Deere reports higher sales, but cites uncertainties in agriculture sector

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Deere & Co. said Wednesday sales rose in its fourth quarter, beating analysts’ expectations, though net income in its financial-services segment slumped and the company noted uncertainties in the agricultural sector.

The company’s DE, +0.02%  financial-services net income was $90 million for the quarter, down from $261 million in the same quarter last year due to operating-lease losses.

Though segment sales rose, operating profit in the company’s equipment-operations, agriculture-and-turf and construction-and-forestry segments declined from the comparable quarter last year.

“John Deere’s performance reflected continued uncertainties in the agricultural sector,” Chief Executive John May said. “Lingering trade tensions coupled with a year of difficult growing and harvesting conditions have caused many farmers to become cautious about making major investments in new equipment.”

The Moline, Ill., maker of farm and construction machinery said sales rose 5% to $9.9 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $8.47 billion.

The company reported net income of $722 million, or $2.27 a share, compared with $785 million, or $2.42 a share, in the same period last year. Analysts were looking for $2.12 a share.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were $2.14 a share. Analysts were expecting $2.13 a share.

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