Deere & Company’s net sales for the second quarter climbed 34% and conditions for agricultural and construction equipment show improvement.
Deere & Company reported net income of $1.208 billion for the second quarter ended April 29, 2018, or $3.67 per share, compared with net income of $808.5 million, or $2.50 per share, for the quarter ended April 30, 2017. For the first six months of the year, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $673.2 million, or $2.05 per share, compared with $1.007 billion, or $3.14 per share, for the same period last year.
Affecting results for the second quarter and first six months of 2018 were provisional adjustments to the provision for income taxes due to the enactment of U.S. tax reform legislation on Dec. 22, 2017. Second-quarter results included a favorable net adjustment to provisional income taxes of $174 million, while the first six months reflected an unfavorable net provisional income tax expense of $803 million. Without these adjustments, net income attributable to Deere & Company for the second quarter and first six months of the year would have been $1.034 billion, or $3.14 per share, and $1.476 billion, or $4.49 per share, respectively.
Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 29%, to $10.720 billion, for the second quarter and rose 27%, to $17.633 billion, for six months. Net sales of the equipment operations were $9.747 billion for the second quarter and $15.721 billion for the first six months, compared with $7.260 billion and $11.958 billion for the periods last year.
"John Deere reported another quarter of strong performance helped by a broad-based improvement in market conditions throughout the world and a favorable customer response to our lineup of innovative products," said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. "Farm machinery sales in both North and South America are making solid gains and construction equipment sales are continuing to move sharply higher. During the quarter, Deere made significant progress working with its suppliers to ramp up production and ensure that products reach customers in a timely manner. At the same time, we are experiencing higher raw-material and freight costs, which are being addressed through a continued focus on structural cost reduction and future pricing actions."
Summary of operations
Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations increased 34% for the quarter and 31% for the first six months compared with the same periods a year ago. Deere's acquisition of the Wirtgen Group in December 2017 added 12% to net sales for the quarter and 9% year to date. Sales included a favorable currency-translation effect of 3% for both periods. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada increased 27% for the quarter and 26% year to date, with Wirtgen adding 5% and 3% for the respective periods. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales rose 45% for the quarter and 40% for the first six months, with Wirtgen adding 23% and 19% for the periods. Net sales included a favorable currency-translation effect of 7% for the quarter and 6% for six months.
Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $1.315 billion for the quarter and $1.734 billion for the first six months, compared with $1.120 billion and $1.375 billion, respectively, last year. Wirtgen, whose results are included in these amounts, had operating profit of $41 million for the quarter and an operating loss of $51 million year to date. The Wirtgen year-to-date operating loss was attributable to the unfavorable effects of purchase accounting and acquisition costs. Excluding Wirtgen results, the improvement for both periods was primarily driven by higher shipment volumes and lower warranty costs, partially offset by higher research and development expenses and higher production costs. The corresponding periods of 2017 included a gain on the sale of SiteOne Landscapes Supply, Inc. Additionally, in the first six months of last year Deere incurred expenses associated with a voluntary employee-separation program.
Net income of the company's equipment operations was $1.103 billion for the second quarter and $139 million for the first six months, compared with net income of $700 million and $785 million for the same periods of 2017. In addition, the quarter was favorably affected by $207 million and the six-month period unfavorably affected by $1.032 billion due to provisional income tax adjustments related to tax reform.
Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Company of $104.1 million for the quarter and $529.4 million for the first six months compared with $103.5 million and $217.9 million last year. Results for both periods benefited from a higher average portfolio, lower losses on lease residual values, and a lower provision for credit losses, partially offset by a less-favorable financing spread. Additionally, provisional income tax adjustments related to tax reform had an unfavorable effect of $33.2 million for the quarter and a favorable effect of $228.8 million for six months.
Company equipment sales are projected to increase by about 30% for fiscal 2018 and by about 35% for the third quarter compared with the same periods of 2017. Of these amounts, Wirtgen is expected to add about 12% to Deere sales for the full year and about 18% for the third quarter. Also included in the forecast is a positive foreign-currency translation effect of about 1% for the year and third quarter. Net sales and revenues are expected to increase by about 26% for fiscal 2018 with net income attributable to Deere & Company forecast to be about $2.3 billion. The company's net income forecast includes $803 million of provisional income tax expense associated with tax reform, representing discrete items for the remeasurement of the company's net deferred tax assets to the new U.S. corporate tax rate and a one-time deemed earnings repatriation tax. Adjusted net income attributable to Deere & Company excluding the provisional income tax adjustments associated with tax reform is forecast to be about $3.1 billion.
The current outlook for net income compares with previous guidance of $2.1 billion, which included $977 million of provisional income tax expense.
"We are encouraged by strengthening demand for our products and believe Deere is well-positioned to capitalize on further growth in the world's agricultural and construction equipment markets," Allen said. "This illustrates our success developing a more durable business model as well as the impact of investments in new products and businesses. We reaffirm our confidence in the company's present direction and our belief that Deere remains on track to deliver significant long-term value to customers and investors."
Deere's worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to increase by about 14% percent for fiscal-year 2018, including a positive currency-translation effect of about 1% percent. Industry sales for agricultural equipment in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be up about 10% for 2018, led by higher demand for large equipment. Full-year industry sales in the EU28 member nations are forecast to be up about 5% due to favorable conditions in the dairy and livestock sectors. South American industry sales of tractors and combines are projected to be flat to up 5% benefiting from strength in Brazil. Asian sales are forecast to be in line with last year. Industry sales of turf and utility equipment in the U.S. and Canada are expected to be flat to up 5% for 2018.
Source: Deere & Co