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Deere 2Q profit falls on lower demand for farming equipment; projects sales drop

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2014 file photo, a John Deere tractor is on display behind a man wearing a John Deere cap at the annual Husker Harvest Days agriculture fair in Grand Island, Neb. Deere & Company reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

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FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2014 file photo, a John Deere tractor is on display behind a man wearing a John Deere cap at the annual Husker Harvest Days agriculture fair in Grand Island, Neb. Deere & Company reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

MOLINE, Ill. - Deere reported a 9.5 per cent decline in second-quarter net income Wednesday on lower demand for farming equipment and cut its sales forecast for the year.

The company beat Wall Street's quarterly expectations on both profit and revenue, but the sales outlook weighed on the company's stock price.

With farmer income projected to decline, Deere said sales of its agriculture and turf equipment could fall 7 per cent for the full year. It had projected a 6 per cent decrease in February.

The U.S. economic rebound and housing recovery is helping to offset some of the decline in agriculture. The company expects its construction and forestry equipment sales to rise 10 per cent this year.

Overall, the company expects a 4 per cent drop in equipment revenue for fiscal 2014. It projected a 3 per cent fall three months ago. For the current quarter, it's also expecting a 4 per cent decline in equipment revenue.

Net income in the most recent quarter fell to $980.7 million, or $2.65 per share, compared with $1.08 billion, or $2.76 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

That was much better than the per-share forecast of $2.47 on Wall Street, according to a poll of analysts by FactSet.

Revenue fell 8.9 per cent to $9.95 billion, from $10.91 billion, but that also edged out analyst expectations for $9.63 billion.

For the full year, Deere maintained its forecast for net income of $3.3 billion.

Shares of Deere & Co., based in Moline, Illinois, fell $1.91, or 2 per cent, to close at $91.70 Wednesday.

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