Deere wraps up strong year despite Q4 losses

The fiscal year wraps up showing an $873.5 million income for the company despite the fourth-quarter losses, which company officials attribute to “previously announced impairment of goodwill related to the John Deere Landscapes reporting unit and voluntary employee-separation expenses associated with the formation of the new agriculture and turf division,” according to a Wednesday report. Without the expenses incurred in this division, the company would have netted a $99 million profit for the quarter. Ag machinery sales were down by 26% in the fourth quarter and 14% for the entire year, Deere officials say. The decline is expected to spill into 2010, but it should level off a bit; company leaders expect a 10% decline in U.S. farm machinery sales.