Quad-Cities’ largest employer sets record earnings

Deere and Co. continues to grow, advance technology
Deere and Co. continues to grow, advance technology and reported record earnings.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 12:33 PM CST
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MOLINE, IL (KWQC) - Deere and Co. announced record profits at its annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday.

Earnings last year were the highest in company history at $52.6 billion, while net income was $7.1 billion.

The Moline-based ag manufacturer is the Quad-Cities’ largest employer, with about 6,400 local employees.

“We saw robust demand and achieved outstanding financial results despite supply challenges and rising production costs,” CEO John May told investors. “We also brought to market important new products with the latest technology and advanced features, introduced a set of focused, measurable goals known as the Leap Ambitions to strengthen our strategic plan, and took steps to make Deere a better place to work and build a career.”

Deere shareholders got a 17% return on their investments, despite the overall downturn in the market.

Like other manufacturers, Deere has struggled to source supplies and materials. Nevertheless, May said, the company exceeded its key targets. He credited Deere employees.

“They boosted production and worked tirelessly to get equipment shipped to our dealers and customers,” the CEO said. “We also faced headwinds related to rising costs for raw materials and freight. Despite it all, we achieved higher volumes and maintained our margin profile.”

May told investors that technology innovation is and will be a key focus for Deere.

“Our deep understanding of the way our customers do business gives us unique insights about the challenges they face. This also puts us in a strong position to deliver technological breakthroughs that help customers be more productive and profitable, and do their jobs more sustainably,” May said. “A prime example is the fully autonomous 8R tractor we introduced just over a year ago. This industry-first technology can perform tillage work in the field without an operator in sight.”

Sustainability is another focus for Deere.

“To reduce emissions, the company is exploring ways to supplement our traditional diesel-powered engines with other power sources such as battery-electric and renewable fuels, like biodiesel, May said. “It’s worth noting, biofuels made from corn or soybean feedstocks, such as ethanol and renewable diesel, produce about 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-based fuels.”