Green Machine is back, Deere posts a big 1Q and ups outlook

Despite weaker crop prices and nervous American farmers, Deere & Co. reported better-than-expected earnings on strong international farm equipment sales and higher demand for construction equipment as U.S. home sales take off.

The company doubled its profit forecast for the year and investors took note, sending the stock to a record high.

Sales worldwide increased 2 percent in the quarter despite a drag in the U.S. and Canada, where sales fell 5 percent. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales increased 14 percent and were particularly strong in South America.

Sales in construction and forestry equipment rose 7 percent in the quarter and Deere expects those numbers to jump about 13 percent for the year. Those numbers are being driven by an American housing market that appears ready to go.

After a couple of down months, economists said this week that they expect the U.S. housing…

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