Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning. They currently have $182.00 price objective on the industrial products company’s stock.

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. The Wirtgen acquisition will contribute about 2% to net sales for fiscal 2019. The company will benefit from upbeat agricultural and construction equipment markets. Acquisitions and introduction of advanced technologies in its products will also drive growth. The stock has also outperformed the industry in the past year. Deere remains well placed for growth over the long term, based on steady investments in new products and geographies. Profitability is likely to remain strong, backed by upward trends in population and urbanization growth, along with continued income growth and dietary improvements.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. UBS Group set a $177.00 price target on shares of Deere & Company and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, November 23rd. Robert W. Baird set a $165.00 price target on shares of Deere & Company and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, November 23rd. Argus lifted their price target on shares of Deere & Company from $166.00 to $170.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $211.00 price target on shares of Deere & Company in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, Bank of America reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $173.00 price target (up previously from $163.00) on shares of Deere & Company in a research note on Monday, December 3rd. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Deere & Company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $176.94.

Shares of NYSE:DE traded down $3.35 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $159.07. 4,550,062 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,015,382. Deere & Company has a 1 year low of $128.32 and a 1 year high of $175.26. The firm has a market capitalization of $52.04 billion, a PE ratio of 16.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.41, a current ratio of 1.92 and a quick ratio of 1.67.

Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) last announced its earnings results on Friday, February 15th. The industrial products company reported $1.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.76 by ($0.22). Deere & Company had a net margin of 6.34% and a return on equity of 29.61%. The business had revenue of $6.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.83 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.31 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 16.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Deere & Company will post 11.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 1st. Investors of record on Monday, December 31st were paid a $0.76 dividend. This is an increase from Deere & Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.69. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 28th. This represents a $3.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.91%. Deere & Company’s payout ratio is 32.37%.

In other news, insider John C. May II sold 11,661 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.21, for a total transaction of $1,868,208.81. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 55,743 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,930,586.03. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Rajesh Kalathur sold 11,133 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.47, for a total value of $1,686,315.51. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 42,244 shares in the company, valued at $6,398,698.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.71% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. WMS Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of Deere & Company by 13.0% during the fourth quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 2,619 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $391,000 after buying an additional 301 shares during the last quarter. National Pension Service grew its holdings in shares of Deere & Company by 5.9% during the fourth quarter. National Pension Service now owns 329,623 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $53,537,000 after buying an additional 18,324 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in shares of Deere & Company by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,595,020 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $237,929,000 after buying an additional 66,637 shares during the last quarter. Halsey Associates Inc. CT grew its holdings in shares of Deere & Company by 5.9% during the fourth quarter. Halsey Associates Inc. CT now owns 79,749 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $11,896,000 after buying an additional 4,472 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans grew its holdings in shares of Deere & Company by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 15,986 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,386,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. 67.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Deere & Company Company Profile

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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