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DEERE & COMPANY'S $400 MILLION SHELF DEBT RATED 'A' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 DEERE & COMPANY'S $400 MILLION SHELF DEBT RATED 'A' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Deere & Co.'s (NYSE: DE) $400 million shelf registration of senior debt securities has been rated "A" by Fitch. The credit trend is stable.
 Deere's weak fiscal 1991 results reflected poor performance in its key equipment markets, which translated into a 17 percent decline in production tonnage and a 14 percent drop in equipment sales from fiscal 1990 levels. The company also took a $120 million after-tax restructuring charge to cover employment reductions and a foundry closing.
 Although first-quarter results improved from depressed 1991 first quarter levels, Deere's near-term market prospects in both North America and Europe remain uncertain. However, Fitch is confident about the company's outlook: Deere's competitive position remains strong, and operating efficiency continues to improve. The company has been funding substantial research & development and capital programs, supporting lean manufacturing operations and a robust flow of innovative new products.
 Deere & Co., based in Moline, Ill., manufactures and distributes farm equipment (69 percent of fiscal 1991 sales), industrial equipment (17 percent), and lawn and grounds care equipment (13 percent). It also finances this equipment and provides credit, insurance, and health care services.
 -0- 3/20/92
 /CONTACT: Donald H. Powell, 212-908-0570, or Mary Anne Sudol, CFA, 212-908-0562, both of Fitch/
 (DE) CO: Deere & Co. ST: Illinois IN: MAC SU: RTG


TQ -- NY031 -- 0082 03/20/92 12:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 20, 1992
Words:238
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