Deere & Company (NYSE: DE): The Best-Of-Breed For Investing?

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    T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (I. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Deere & Company (NYSE:DE). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Industrials company by 36.24% to 5.18 million shares with purchase of 1.38 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 1.66% valued currently at $814.48 million. In addition, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings by 44733.0 to 4.34 million shares. And First Eagle Investment Management. has lifted its position by 0.94% or 38464.0 shares – to 4.14 million shares.

    With over 0.94 million Deere & Company (DE) shares trading Wednesday and a closing price of $176.73 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $166.18 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 1.80% and its price on 07/22/20 gained nearly 0.71%. Currently, there are 313.20M common shares owned by the public and among those 312.14M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 21 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for DE have a consensus price objective of $172.67. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $216.00 and a low of $140.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Deere & Company stock is 2.30 for the next 12 months. The average price target is -7.53% below its last price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -26.24% over that period. But an upside of 18.18% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $177.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 61 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 41 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 269,001 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 20 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 128,235 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Deere & Company are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and Vanguard Wellington Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 8.92 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $1.4 billion. The company sold -0.17 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.85% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund bought 60021.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 6.49 million shares valued at over $1.02 billion and representing 2.08% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Wellington Fund sold -0.91 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 4.75 million shares at a value of $747.22 million. Vanguard Wellington Fund now owns shares totaling to 1.52% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) opened at $174.19, down -$1.3 from a prior closing price of $175.49. However, the script later closed the day at $176.73, up 0.71%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 1.80% and 28.84% over the past three months. DE shares are trading 1.29% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 4.24% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $106.14 and touched a high of $181.99 over the same period. Currently, 0.94 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.62 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 8.61%, 14.08%, and 11.20% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) shares accounts for 80.30% of the company’s 313.20M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 39.78%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 39.87% and 10.49% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $53.94B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.97. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 20.39, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $8.61. The company has a PEG of 9.01 and the debt-to-equity ratio at 4.23. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 1.94% over the week and 2.61% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Deere & Company (DE) will achieve an EPS of $1.12 for the current quarter, $1.25 for the next quarter and $8.64 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.87 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.41. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $2.71 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 5.90%, and 40.96% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 2.26% over the next five years, compared to 2.90% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 21 brokerage firm advisors rate Deere & Company (DE) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.30. Specifically, 13 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 7 of the 21 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the DE, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Robert W. Baird stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on July 13, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $189. Deutsche Bank coverage for the Deere & Company (DE) stock in a research note released on July 01, 2020 offered a Buy rating with a price target of $186. William Blair was of a view on May 28, 2020 that the stock is Outperform, while Citigroup gave the stock Neutral rating on April 14, 2020, issuing a price target of $160- $155. Robert W. Baird on their part issued Neutral rating on April 13, 2020.

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