HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Falling sales of farm equipment appear to be putting manufacturers at risk, an analyst said Monday, citing a report by a trade association on retail sales in March.
Analyst Robert McCarthy of Robert W. Baird & Co. said tractor sales made a "relatively slow start" to the spring selling season, though combine sales remained strong, according to data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
Sales of row crop tractors declined 7 percent year-over-year and sales of four wheel drives dropped 14 percent in what McCarthy called "seasonally important March."
However, sales of combines were up 39 percent, though March is seasonally less important for combine demand, he said in a note to investors.
Inventories generally remained tight for combines and four-wheel drive tractors and row crop tractor inventories continued to increase, he said.
"Risk to manufacturers' production schedules appears to be growing," he said.
Shares of Deere and Co. fell 50 cents, or 1 percent, to $36.97 in afternoon trading. Navistar International Corp. fell $2.04, or 5.5 percent, to $34.69; Paccar Inc. dropped 98 cents, or 3 percent, to $30.95; and Terex Corp. fell 11 cents, to $11.90.