Quad Cities-based Deere and Company reported a $38 million loss in the first quarter of its fiscal year that ended January 31st. Deere spokesman Greg Derrick says the loss is due mainly to the company’s deep production cuts. That cut inventory, which led to a decline in sales, but not a decline in costs for the company. Derrick says there is some good news, though, in projections for the rest of the year. They’ve revised their outlook slightly for sales of agriculture equipment from down 5% to staying even with last year’s levels. Derrick says they expect the weak economy to continue holding down sales of lawn and garden and construction equipment. Even with the projected increase in ag sales, Derrick says they’re not predicting any big profits this year. Deere’s operating margin should increase slightly, but he says they expect overall earnings to remain flat this year. The company reported a 64-million dollar loss last year, its worst since 1991.
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