Deere & Co said on Wednesday its earnings in the latest quarter fell 27 percent as ongoing weakness in its construction and forestry equipment business offset strength in demand for its tractors and harvesters, especially in North America.

The company reported a fiscal third-quarter profit of $420 million, or 99 cents a share, down from $575.2 million, or $1.32 a share, last year.

Sales fell 24 percent to $5.89 billion.

Analysts on average expected the Moline, Illinois-based company to report a profit of 56 cents a share on sales of $5.27 billion.

Deere's shares were $45.64 in premarket trading after closing Tuesday's New York Stock Exchange session at $45.09.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher, editing by Maureen Bavdek)