February 15, 2012 / 12:32 PM / 7 years ago

Deere profit beats expectations; raises forecast

A new John Deere tractor waits for a buyer at a dealer in Longmont, Colorado August 18, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - Deere & Co (DE.N) reported a 4 percent rise in quarterly earnings on Wednesday due to growing demand for farming and construction machinery and higher prices.

The Moline, Illinois-based farm equipment maker posted fiscal first-quarter net income of $533 million, or $1.30 per share, compared with $513.7 million, or $1.20 per share, a year ago. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.24 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Deere had previously told investors to expect lower year-over-year earnings in the first quarter due to higher costs and lower combine production.

Sales for the quarter increased 11 percent to $6.77 billion, beating analyst expectations of $6.5 billion.

The company raised its forecast for net income for the year, from a previous expectation of $3.2 billion to a new target of $3.275 billion. Deere maintained its forecast for 15 percent sales growth.

Reporting By John D. Stoll; Editing by Maureen Bavdek

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