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Deere Expects Excavator Delivery Delays After Japan Quake

Deere & Co., the world’s largest farm equipment maker, expects deliveries of some excavators and mining equipment will be delayed in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last week.

“Although some suppliers are recovering from the disruptions caused by last week’s events, present conditions in Japan make it difficult to estimate the full effects on the supply chain,” the Moline, Illinois-based company said today in a securities filing. “It is too early to estimate the impact on Deere’s overall business.” ​ The delays may be for some excavators sold under both the Deere and Hitachi Ltd. brand names, and mining equipment under the Hitachi brand, the company said in the filing.

Deere and Hitachi have a manufacturing and marketing agreement that includes the Deere-Hitachi joint venture in Kernersville, North Carolina, company spokesman Ken Golden said in an e-mailed response to questions. Deere is also responsible for marketing and selling excavators and some other equipment for both brands in the Americas, he said.

“Clearly, there is some stress from production in Japan, but Deere’s core business appears to be relatively unaffected,” Larry De Maria, a New York-based analyst for Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. who rates Deere shares a “buy,” said in a telephone interview.

Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest construction-equipment maker, said in a statement today that while the situation in Japan is having some impact on production, it hasn’t stopped output at other plants around the world.

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