Agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co. reported a 65 percent increase in its fiscal second-quarter profit and predicted strong sales growth throughout its 2011 fiscal year, which ends in October. Deere predicts $2.65 billion net income in 2011. Here are some highlights of the Moline, Ill., company's outlook:
_ Deere predicts sales will grow 21 to 23 percent overall because the current high crop prices will boost most farmers' income.
_ Farm equipment sales are expected to grow 5 to 10 percent in the United States and Canada and about 15 percent in western and central Europe.
_ South American sales of farm equipment are expected to decline 5 to 10 percent because of weakening demand in Brazil and Argentina.
_ Deere's global sales of construction and forestry equipment are predicted to increase 35 percent over last year's low levels but remain well below peak levels.