Deere & Co. reporting a thirty percent drop in fiscal second quarter profit Friday, which was.encouraging news to many on Wall Street. But the bulls and the bears remain at odds on the company's path to profit and revenues, going forward.
The company beat profit expectations for the quarter, earning $2.03 per share, or $690.5 million, on solid shares of its construction equipment offsetting global agricultural slowdown.
Analysts expected $1.56 in per-share profit and $7.5 billion in revenue.
The Moline, Illinois company also raised its outlook for the year
Vishal Shah, managing director at Deutsche Bank, has the street's only buy rating on Deere and the highest price target, at $106 dollars.
Friday on CNBC's "Power Lunch," Shah explained why Deere is better positioned to weather the current cyclical downturn in agricultural equipment sales.
"Deere posted better than expected second quarter results and raised the full year guide. The better-than expected performance on the SG&A side, which was a primary driver of the beat and full year guidance increase supports (our) view."
Shah further explained why he remains firmly in the bullish camp on Deere.
"Factoring in the lower share count and improving expense picture, consensus EPS estimates for 2015 could increase above $5.60, compared to $5.30 currently."
Eli Lustgarten with Longbow Research, has a sell rating on Deere, along with the lowest price target on the street, at $72 dollars per share.
Lustgarten's cites weakening global agricultural equipment demand as the main reason for his bearish call, specifically as a result of persistent commodity price weakness, following a three year super cycle in the industry. "The question becomes how big is the step down," said Lustgarten. "We are currently modeling a 25.5 percent decline in 'ag and turf' revenue in the seasonally strongest 2Q15."
Lustgarten also remains bearish heading into the second quarter earnings release. "We are maintaining our below consensus revenue and EPS projections and would advise against holding shares short term," said Lustgarten.
Lustgarten also believes Deere faces a much more significant challenge than rival Caterpillar. "Agriculture represents roughly 80 percent of net sales leaving the company with fewer levers to pull. We expect earnings to decline to $5.20 in FY15 as the dramatic drop in commodity prices takes its toll on North American and global farm equipment sales."
Shares of Deere climbed $3.49, or 3.9 percent, to $92.95 in mid-morning trading Friday. Its shares are up 3.7 percent during the past year.