Deere Posts Strong Earnings: Citing strong sales in North America and overseas, the Moline, Ill.-based company, the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, reported record earnings for its fiscal third quarter. John Deere & Co. said it earned $157.8 million, or $1.82 a share, for the three-month period ended July 31, up from $90.9 million, or $1.19 a share, for the 1993 period. Sales climbed to $2.3 billion from $2 billion. Deere stock soared $3.625 to $69.625 on the New York Stock Exchange in response to the better-than-expected results. Analyst Robert Smith of Hancock Institutional Equity Services said equipment inventories are low and that that should spur farm machinery purchases.