Deere & Co. reported a third-quarter net loss of $39.6 million and blamed "the continuing steep downturn in demand for farm equipment in North America."
In 1985, Moline, Ill.-based Deere had third-quarter net income of $4.5 million on sales of $1.02 billion. Deere said its third-quarter net loss came on worldwide sales of $973 million, 5% lower than the year-earlier period.
In the first three quarters of Deere's 1986 fiscal year, the company lost $107.4 million, compared to net income of $11.1 million for the same period last year.
Worldwide sales so far this fiscal year totaled $2.7 billion, 7% less than the $2.9 billion of the same period last year.
"Industry retail sales of large tractors, combines and other implements have been significantly lower again this year," President Robert A. Hanson said.
"Industry retail inventories remain high, and price discounting in the marketplace remains extremely intense," he added.
Hanson said excess capacity resulting from the slumping economy also is a negative factor because it increases production costs per unit.
To reduce inventories, Hanson said Deere will continue to produce farm equipment at a level below that of estimated retail sales and "as a result, operations will remain under severe pressure."
For detailed data and results of other companies, please see tables, Page 14.