Deere & Co. increases quarterly dividend

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The Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) board of directors has approved an increase of Deere's quarterly dividend to 60 centsa share on common stock. The dividend is payable on Aug. 1to stockholders of record onJune 30.

The new quarterly rate represents an increase of 9 cents a share, approximately 18 percent, over the previous level. This is the 12th increase to the Deere & Co. quarterly dividend in 10 years. Deere last raised its dividend in February 2013.

"Deere is well-positioned to benefit long-term from global trends that hold great promise for the company's customers and investors," said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and CEO. "Our dividend increase reflects our confidence in Deere & Co.'s ability to generate strong cash flow throughout the cycle. We remain committed to our plans for profitable growth and for returning cash to shareholders."

The increase comes just two weeks after the company announced its second quarter profit was lower than a year earlier for the three-month period that ends April 30.

Profit was $980.7 million, or$2.65 a share, compared with a profit of $1.084 billion, or$2.76 a share, for the same period last year, the company announced.  

For the first six months of 2014, net income was $1.662 billion, or$4.46 a share, compared with $1.734 billion, or$4.41 a share, last year. 

Worldwide net sales and revenues decreased 9 percent, to $9.948 billion, for the second quarter and were down 4 percent, to $17.602 billion, for six months. Net sales of the equipment operations were $9.246 billion for the quarter and $16.195 billion for six months, compared with $10.265 billion and $17.058 billion for the same periods last year, the company announced.

"John Deere is on its way to another year of solid financial and operating performance," Allen said during the earnings announcement. "Our second-quarter earnings showed further proof of the adept execution of our operating plans. We kept costs and assets well under control while successfully managing major new-product transitions associated with more stringent emissions standards. In addition, our construction and forestry and financial services operations delivered improved results, reflecting the power of our broad-based business lineup."

Deere stock closed at $90.91 a share, down a penny, in Wednesday’s trading on the New York Stock Exchange.