Deere & Company (DE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “For fiscal 2019, Deere anticipates net sales to be up about 7% year over year and projects net income of about $3.6 billion. Acquisitions and introduction of advanced technologies will drive growth. The Wirtgen acquisition will contribute about 2% to net sales for fiscal 2019. The company will also benefit from upbeat agricultural and construction equipment markets. The stock has also outperformed the industry in the past year. However, Deere’s near-term results will be affected by challenges in Argentina. Elevated expenses will also thwart its performance. Further, Deere’s stretched valuation is a concern.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Bank of America restated a buy rating and issued a $173.00 price objective (up from $163.00) on shares of Deere & Company in a research report on Monday, December 3rd. Argus lifted their target price on Deere & Company to $166.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 27th. William Blair reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Deere & Company in a report on Friday, November 23rd. Cfra set a $158.00 target price on Deere & Company and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $211.00 target price on shares of Deere & Company in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. Deere & Company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $176.29.

Shares of Deere & Company stock traded up $4.54 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $164.61. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,879,772 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,026,189. Deere & Company has a 12-month low of $128.32 and a 12-month high of $175.26. The company has a market capitalization of $51.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.53, a PEG ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a quick ratio of 1.67, a current ratio of 1.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.41.

Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 21st. The industrial products company reported $2.30 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.44 by ($0.14). Deere & Company had a net margin of 6.34% and a return on equity of 29.61%. The business had revenue of $8.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.59 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.57 earnings per share. Deere & Company’s revenue was up 17.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Deere & Company will post 11.43 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.76 per share. This is a boost from Deere & Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.69. This represents a $3.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.85%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 28th. Deere & Company’s payout ratio is presently 32.37%.

In other news, CFO Rajesh Kalathur sold 11,133 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.47, for a total transaction of $1,686,315.51. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 42,244 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,398,698.68. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider John C. May II sold 11,661 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.21, for a total value of $1,868,208.81. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 55,743 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,930,586.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Capital International Inc. CA grew its stake in shares of Deere & Company by 22.3% during the third quarter. Capital International Inc. CA now owns 23,724 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,566,000 after buying an additional 4,329 shares during the last quarter. Smith Moore & CO. bought a new position in shares of Deere & Company during the third quarter valued at approximately $263,000. Atria Investments LLC grew its stake in shares of Deere & Company by 14.4% during the third quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 7,430 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,117,000 after buying an additional 935 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc grew its stake in shares of Deere & Company by 0.9% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 22,698,615 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,412,282,000 after buying an additional 210,597 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Belpointe Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Deere & Company by 13.6% during the third quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC now owns 3,660 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $550,000 after buying an additional 439 shares during the last quarter. 66.46% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Deere & Company

Deere & Company manufactures and distributes various equipment worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Agriculture and Turf, Construction and Forestry, and Financial Services. The Agriculture and Turf segment offers agriculture and turf equipment, and related parts, including large, medium, and utility tractors; tractor loaders; combines, cotton pickers, cotton strippers, and sugarcane harvesters; harvesting front-end equipment; sugarcane loaders and pull-behind scrapers; and tillage, seeding, and application equipment.

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