Why Deere's Earnings Beat Isn't All Good News

| About: Deere & (DE)

I just wanted to add a very quick note on Deere’s (NYSE:DE) earnings. Today’s earnings report was quite good and the stock is rallying higher.

Still, I’m very skeptical of the stock and I find the earnings report to be rather unusual. The good news is that EPS came in at 57 cents a share which tripled the Street’s expectation. That’s also up from a year ago when Deere earned 48 cents a share.

The bad news is that Deere’s sales declined by 6% from last year’s fourth quarter.

Partially offsetting the 6% revenue decline were costs for Deere, which declined 8% to $4.5 billion. And its lending unit generated $85.1 million net income in the quarter, nearly double the $46.8 million net income Deere generated from financial services a year ago.

So Deere’s banking is improving. Somehow, I’m not encouraged. That represents about one-third of their net income.

Barron's notes:

The company upped its 2010 forecast, implying a full-year EPS figure of $3.04 versus a Wall Street consensus of $2.58.

That means the stock is going for about 19 times this year's earnings.