Deere CEO: Ag Downturn Not ’80s Rerun

Deere & Co. is better equipped to ride out the agricultural slowdown, reports Jennifer DeWitt of WCFCourier.com, and is focused on leading the industry with its innovations, the company’s CEO told shareholders Wednesday morning.

Sam Allen, Deere’s chairman and CEO, spoke of the challenges ahead as the downturn in the agricultural economy moves into another year.

But he also pointed to the opportunities for the equipment maker as the global population continues to grow and the demand for food and shelter expands.

More than 350 shareholders, many of them retirees and employees, filled the auditorium at John Deere World Headquarters in Moline for the annual meeting.

“Our company is doing well in a challenging environment,” he said. “This is happening not as a matter of chance but as a matter of choice, thoughtful planning and decisive actions.”

The company’s latest forecast calls for sales to decline this year by more than $2 billion, or 10 percent. The forecast also projects earnings to decrease by more $2 billion from 2013 levels.

In fact, Allen said sales of Deere’s larger, more profitable models “are less than half the levels of 2012 and 2013 — representing some of the largest declines since the 1980s.”

Read the full story on WCFCourier.com.

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