Deere Leads A Farm Belt Cheer

Not all the news from the nation's flooded heartland is bleak. On Aug. 24, agricultural equipment manufacturer Deere announced profits for its fiscal third quarter of $100.1 million, up from $9.1 million a year earlier and more than 50% higher than Wall Street estimates. Sales jumped 17%, to $2 billion.

Rising farm incomes helped drive the profit surge. The company says net farm cash incomes will go as high as $70 billion this year, up from an earlier prediction of $60 billion. Low interest rates and the economic recovery are also fueling purchases of Deere's combines and large tractors. As a result, the company says output in 1993 will be 10% above last year. The ultimate winner? Deere stockholders. The company's shares rose by 7.6% on Aug. 24, hitting 74, a 52-week high.


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