Deere posts stronger-than-expected profit

May 14 (Reuters) - Deere & Co on Wednesday posted a stronger-than-expected profit as cost cuts helped offset lower sales of its tractors, harvesters and earth-moving equipment.

The Moline, Illinois-based company posted a profit of $980.7 million, or $2.65 a share, for the second quarter ended on April 30, down from $1.08 billion, or $2.76 a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected Deere to report a profit of $2.48 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales fell 9 percent to $9.95 billion.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)