MOLINE -- Deere & Co. says its first-quarter net income rose almost 5 percent, but it projected a slowdown in sales of farm equipment this year.
High crop prices have put money into farmers' pockets and driven a boom in demand for Deere's tractors and other motorized farm gear. But Deere says demand for farm equipment is "moderating." It says farm and construction equipment sales will fall 3 percent this year, and will fall 6 percent in the second quarter. Its profit guidance for the year is unchanged at about $3.3 billion.
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For the quarter that ended Jan. 31, Deere earned $681.1 million, or $1.81 per share. Revenue from equipment sales rose 2 percent to $6.95 billion as it raised prices.
Both its profit and revenue beat analyst expectations.