Deere & Co , reported a 46 percent increase in fiscal fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday due to continued strong demand for farm equipment, and the company said it expects substantial growth in 2012.

The Moline, Illinois, company posted net income of $669 million, or $1.62 per share, for the fourth quarter that ended October 31, compared with $457 million, or $1.07 per share, a year earlier.

Wall Street analysts had expected Deere to earn $1.47 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Deere, the world's largest maker of farm equipment, said revenue rose 20 percent during the quarter to $8.61 billion.

For the year, Deere posted $2.8 billion in net income, slightly higher than the company's recent full-year forecast for net income of $2.7 billion.

The company said it expects equipment sales to rise about 15 percent in 2012, and to be up 16 to 18 percent in the first quarter. Net income is anticipated to be about $3.2 billion.

Deere's shares were up 4 percent in premarket trading.

(Reporting by John D. Stoll in Detroit, editing by Maureen Bavdek)