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Great year for Deere

Deere & Company capped off a very good year for sales with a two-for-one stock split in the form of 100% stock dividend. This action, taken in November, involved the stockholders increasing the number of common shares to 1,200 million.

About a week later, Deere announced that its earnings for the full year were up from the same period a year ago. Worldwide net income was $1.822 billion, or $8.01 per share, compared with $1.694 billion, or $7.18 per share last year.

The company’s news release stated that sales of worldwide equipment operations increased 21% for the fourth quarter and 8% for year. While sales in the U.S. and Canada were flat, outside the area, sales were up 27% for the year.

John Deere agricultural equipment played a role in Deere’s healthy year by posting an 18% increase in sales for the year. The company expects 2008 to be nearly as good with sales up 17% for the year and U.S. and Canadian growers buying 10 to 15% more equipment than a year earlier.

Deere also anticipates strong ag equipment sales growth in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) including Russia. South American markets are also expected to improve by 10 to 15%.

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