CHICAGO (Reuters) – Deere & Co (DE.N) on Friday reported an unexpected rise in profits in the first quarter, helped by early signs of stabilization in the U.S. farm sector.

For the quarter ended Feb. 2, it reported net income of $517 million or $1.63 per share, up from $498 million or $1.54 per share last year.

That compares with average analyst estimates, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, of $1.26 per share.

Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Jan Harvey

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