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UPDATE 1-Deere beats profit estimates, raises full-year forecasts

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Aug 18 (Reuters) - Deere & Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by improving demand for its farm equipment, particularly in South America, and the company raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts for the third time.

Deere said it now expects fiscal 2017 equipment sales to rise 10 percent, compared with its previous forecast of an increase of about 9 percent.

The company said it expects 2017 net income attributable to Deere to be about $2.1 billion, up from $2.0 billion estimated previously.

The U.S. farm equipment maker is benefiting from higher demand for farm machinery in South America, where farmers have enjoyed big gains in corn and soybean output.

Net income attributable to Deere jumped 31.3 percent to $641.8 million, or $1.97 per share, in the third quarter ended July 30, from a year earlier.

Total sales and revenue rose to $7.81 billion from $6.72 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.95 per share and revenue of $6.92 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)