Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer, Deere & Company has reported a rare operating loss in the first quarter.
Deere is reporting a loss of more than $535 million, or $1.66 per share. That compares with a net profit of $199 million for the first quarter last year. This was the first loss Deere has experienced since the fourth quarter of 2009. But rather than an operating loss, Deere says it’s a result of initial accounting adjustments related to the U.S. tax reform legislation. This is the first quarterly report since Deere bought the Germany-based Wirtgen (VIRT-gin) Group, which makes road construction equipment. Deere paid five-point-two billion dollars for the Wirtgen Group and will retain all five of its existing brands.