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Deere Earnings Better-Than-Expected, but Don't Hold Your Breath

Shares of heavy equipment maker Deere ( DE) skyrocketed in morning trading on Wednesday, following Wall Street-beating results for the most recent quarter. But as investors rewarded the tractor company for the earnings surprise, pushing the stock up to new 52-week highs near $102 per share, there's a much more somber message in the earnings release that should have yet another industry concerned.

For the fourth quarter, Deere recorded net income that fell to $285.3 million, or 90 cents per share, from...