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Reasons that Make Deere (DE) a Solid Investment Choice Now

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Deere & Company (DE - Free Report) looks promising at the moment on the back of an upbeat outlook, strong order activity and its focus on acquisitions. Additionally, share price of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has been rising, of late. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

If you haven’t taken advantage of the share price appreciation yet, this is the right time to add the stock to your portfolio as it looks promising and is poised to carry the momentum ahead. The stock has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 5.7%.

Let's delve deeper and analyze the factors that make this agricultural-equipment maker an attractive investment option.

What's Working in Favor of Deere?

Positive Estimate Revisions, Growth Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 and 2019 for Deere has been revised nearly 17% and around 14% upward, respectively, over the past 60 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings is pegged at $9.55, reflecting estimated year-over-year growth of 43%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings is pegged at $11.45, representing an estimated year-over-year rise of 19.9%.

Positive Earnings Surprise History

Deere has outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average positive earnings surprise of 17.3%.

Above the Industry

Deere has outperformed the industry it belongs to, in a year’s time. The company’s shares have jumped around 28.6% compared with 27.3% growth recorded by the industry during the same time frame.



Attractive Valuation

Going by the price earnings (P/E) multiple, Deere is currently trading at a trailing 12-month P/E multiple of 19.5x — lower than the industry average of 22.5x.



Superior Return on Assets (ROA)

Deere’ ROA of 3.8%, as compared with the industry average of 3.5%, highlights the company’s efficiency in generating earnings by effectively managing assets.

Upbeat Guidance

Deere raised its total equipment sales growth outlook for fiscal 2018 to around 29% year over year from the prior guidance of about 22%. For the fiscal, Deere expects net sales to be up about 25% year over year and projects net income of about $2.1 billion. The company is poised to gain from improved operational performance due to disciplined cost management, and continued investment in innovative technology and solutions.

Growth Drivers in Place

Deere estimates that industry sales for agricultural equipment in the United States and Canada will be up nearly 10% for fiscal 2018, aided by higher demand for large equipment. The company has been recording strong order activity in Combine Early Order Program and order book for large tractors, which supports the encouraging outlook.

Further, construction investment is predicted to be up around 2.2% in fiscal 2018, up from the previous forecast of 1.4%, driven by the pick up in oil and gas, and residential activity, strong order book and upbeat trends in retail sales.

Moreover, Deere’s positive outlook for fiscal 2018 also reflects gains from the Wirtgen acquisition. In December 2017, the company acquired Wirtgen for $5.2 billion. The buyout will aid Deere’s North America-centric construction business. Deere stated that the transaction will contribute roughly 12% to net sales for fiscal 2018 and around 16% for the fiscal second quarter.

Deere also recently entered into a definitive agreement to acquire King Agro, a privately-held manufacturer of carbon fiber technology products. Post acquisition, Deere’s customers will benefit from King Agro's unique knowledge, designs, and expertise in carbon-fiber technology.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other similarly-ranked stocks as Deere in the sector include AptarGroup, Inc. (ATR - Free Report) , Barnes Group, Inc. (B - Free Report) and Dover Corporation (DOV - Free Report) .

AptarGroup has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.5%. Its shares have rallied 17%, over the past year.

Barnes Group has a long-term earnings growth rate of 10%. The company’s shares have been up 17% during the same time frame.

Dover has a long-term earnings growth rate of 13%. The stock has gained 15% in a year’s time.

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