John Deere reports strong 3Q with declining inflationary pressures

Dubuque County’s largest employer recorded an increase in net income in its recently completed quarter, as well as a jump in the division that includes John Deere Dubuque Works.

Deere and Co. reported net income of $2.98 billion for the third quarter, which ended July 30, at a Friday earnings call with investors. During the same period last fiscal year, that figure was $1.88 billion.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, the company reported net income of about $7.8 billion, up 59.6% from the $4.89 billion reported in the first nine months of last fiscal year.

“John Deere finished the third quarter with another strong performance,” Josh Rohleder, manager of investor communications, told investors. “Performance exceeded expectation as a result of sustained demand for both farm and construction equipment as well as sound operations execution across all business units.”

Worldwide net sales and revenues totaled about $15.8 billion, up 12% from the same period last year.

The construction and forestry division, which includes the Dubuque plant, saw $3.74 billion in net sales during the quarter, an increase of 14% over the third quarter last fiscal year. Rohleder attributed the increase to price realization and higher shipping volumes.

The division also saw operating profits increase 39% from the same period last fiscal year, to $716 million.

“We’ve also benefited from the stabilization in housing as well as reshoring efforts in the manufacturing sector, which are helping to offset weaknesses in office and commercial real estate,” Rohleder said.

Looking ahead, net sales in the construction and forestry division are forecasted to be up between 15% and 20% for the total fiscal year.

Brent Norwood, Deere director of investor relations, said on Friday’s call that Deere operations were bolstered in the third quarter by lower -than-expected inflation costs.

There also was some notable stabilization in the supply chain, allowing for a near return to normal seasonality in sales.

“Our factories ran really well in the third quarter. We saw continued progress from our supply base, enabling our operations to hit production schedules almost exactly as planned,” Norwood said.

The company foresees production will be down a bit in the fourth quarter in line with typical seasonal trends as well as an expected increase in research and development costs.

However, net income still is expected to see a sizable increase from fiscal year 2022, when $7.13 billion in net income was reported. Current company projections forecast a 2023 net company-wide income of $9.75 billion to $10 billion.

“We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year,” Deere and Co. Chief Financial Officer Josh Jepsen told investors. “And we’re encouraged by our ability to both invest aggressively in the business while at the same time returning significant earnings to our shareholders.”