Deere earnings reflect efforts from many Iowa communities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Deere earnings reflect efforts from many Iowa communities

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WAUKON (KWWL) -- It's good news for shareholders and John Deere employees. The Moline-based company is reporting first quarter sales of more than $513 million. Compare that with $243 million over the same time period last year. In the U.S. alone, equipment sales are up 35%.

A Deere spokesperson said the increased profits are a direct reflection of the quality of work coming out of Waterloo Works plant. It's also a reflection of what's happening in dozens of other communities you might not immediately associate with the Deere name -- like, for example, Waukon.

"We're doing better, selling more product, the customer is doing better, buying a lot more, it's going to naturally lend to better profits for John Deere," said Waukon Implement salesman Kyle Halverson.

News of record earnings is no surprise to the salesmen at the Bodensteiner John Deere Implement in Waukon. Even when the economy tanked, their own earnings held pretty steady.

"Parts and service are a big part of our business here," explained store manager Tom Kuennen.

"In the farming industry, there's always the need for equipment," said Halverson.

Lately, they are noticing a trend toward buying new again, and that's directly related to how the agriculture industry is faring.

"Farmers, they've had a good year. They're making a little money, and they do spend money when they make money," said Kuennen.

But just because farmers have money, doesn't mean they have to spend it at John Deere.

"The customers are still shopping for the best value for their dollar," Halverson noted.

Kuennen believes, customers keep ending up with the John Deere green, because they trust the brand.

"It's easy to sell things that people want," he added.

Kuennen said another reason people continue to turn to the brand is its resale value. But he also noted, equipment prices are rising, along with the rising revenues. Company-wide, prices are up about two percent from last year. Kuennen expects another increase in March.

Sales for the year are expected to continue improving. The projected increase for 2011 may end up as high as 20% over 2010. As you might expect, the John Deere stock prices are also up significantly.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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