Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) reported first-quarter fiscal 2017 results before markets opened Friday. The farm and heavy equipment maker posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.61 on revenues of $5.63 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.80 on revenues of $5.53 billion. First-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $0.54 and $4.67 billion in revenues.
Year over year, quarterly net sales in the worldwide equipment operations group fell 1% overall, including a decline of 8% in the United States and Canada, offset by an increase of 11% elsewhere and helped by a favorable currency exchange effect of 1%.
Operating profit in the equipment group rose from $214 million in the year-ago quarter to $247 million, driven primarily by price realizations and offset somewhat by charges for the company’s voluntary employee-separation program, higher...