Deere Lifts Profit Outlook on Surging Farm Sector Demand

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Deere & Co., the largest maker of agricultural machinery, boosted its full-year fiscal outlook as surging crop prices and the broader upswing in commodities boosted consumer demand for new equipment. Shares jumped the most since March 5.

The Moline, Illinois-based company forecast 2021 net income of between $5.3 billion to $5.7 billion, up from a prior range of $4.6 billion to $5 billion, according to a statement on Friday. The company attributed the increase to healthy worldwide demand for farm and construction equipment. Shares rose 3.2% to $366.58 at 10:15 a.m. trading in New York. The stock has risen 36% this year.

Deere Lifts Profit Outlook on Surging Farm Sector Demand

The company raised its forecast despite warnings that it will get more difficult to secure parts and components from key suppliers. Chief Executive Officer John May said Deere is working closely with its suppliers to navigate the troubles.

“Our results received support across our entire business lineup, reflecting healthy worldwide markets for farm and construction equipment,” May said in the statement. “While the company is clearly performing at a high level, Deere expects to see increased supply-chain pressures through the balance of the year.

The company raised its outlook across most of its major business segments, including agriculture and turf across the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America and Asia. The significant increase in demand partly explains why Deere is facing supply chain issues, according to Edward Jones analyst Matt Arnold.

“This is an almost economy-wide phenomenon right now and we think they’re managing it really effectively,” Arnold said in a phone interview. “We’re coming off multiple years of depressed demand, which suggests to me we should be heading into a couple years of demand recovery.”

Key Insights

  • Deere shares are off to the best start in almost 30 years as reopening economies, a surge in crop prices and increased U.S. exports buoy demand for equipment.
  • Analysts at Baird said in a May 13 note to clients that large agricultural machine deliveries are running ahead of the assumption Deere embedded into its previous guidance, indicating that demand is very strong, pricing is solid and order books are full.
  • Analysts at J.P. Morgan said in a note to clients on May 18 that the huge demand is likely to spill into 2022.
  • Construction is also a bright spot for the manufacturer, which along with the agriculture outlook could drive revenue growth at Deere of more than 25% this year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
  • Competitor AGCO Corp. last month boosted its earnings projections as rising crop prices drive demand from farmers seeking to replace old equipment. At the same time, the company is facing “significant challenges” in its supply chain.

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