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Deere Reports Strong Earnings

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) -- Deere & Co.'s third-quarter net income rose 27 percent, driven by booming agricultural activity in North and South America. The company easily beat most expectations and shares are rising before the opening bell.
   The farm and construction equipment manufacturer earned $997 million, or $2.56 per share, well ahead of the $2.17 per share that Wall Street was looking for.
   Revenue climbed 4 percent to $10.01 billion, the company said Wednesday, also topping most expectations.
   The company last year booked earnings of $788 million, or $1.98 per share.
   For the three months ended July 31, worldwide equipment sales increased 4 percent on higher prices.
   Agriculture and turf segment sales rose 8 percent on increased prices and higher shipment volumes. Construction and forestry sales fell 11 percent on lower shipment volumes.

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