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Trimble banks on high-tech farming: Barron's

(Reuters) - Trimble Navigation Ltd is moving into new markets like railroads, water management, and electric utilities to improve productivity and cut costs with its positioning technology, Barron's said in its May 27 edition.

Trimble, which makes equipment for surveying, mapping, and marine navigation, also relies on acquisitions, having bought over 70 companies since 2000.

Going forward, Trimble CEO Steven Berglund wants to "help customers connect the dots," Barron's said.

The company is already collecting data about harvests and crop yields that can be used to guide future plantings.

"We have to go out and do a lot of concept-selling," Berglund told Barron's. "In many cases, we're out there selling things nobody's ever seen before."

Shares of Trimble closed at $27.69 on the Nasdaq on Friday.

In April, the company said automatic federal government spending cuts in March hurt the company's engineering and construction division and the field solutions business, which caters to the agriculture and geographic information system markets. The businesses together accounted for 75 percent of Trimble's total revenue in the first quarter, Reuters reported.

The company's net income fell 2 percent to $49.8 million, or 19 cents per share, in the first quarter from a year earlier.

(Reporting by Ellen Freilich in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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