Caterpillar Posts Record Profits

April 25, 2012

Caterpillar posted a record profit of $1.59 billion in the first quarter of 2012 on revenue of $15.98 billion. Profit was up 29 percent over 2011, revenue up 23 percent. Sales of machinery and systems were up 25 percent.

The company said results were driven by growth in mining and strong replacement demand in the United States.

“We’re seeing strong global demand for most mining products and significant growth in replacement demand for products in the United States, which more than offset slowing in China and Brazil,” said chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman.

“Our growth has also been good for jobs—increasing demand coupled with our acquisitions has led to a nearly 50-percent increase in our global workforce since the start of 2010, to a total of 155,710 people. Even without acquisitions, in the last year alone, our workforce in the United States has grown by more than 6,500 people while our workforce is up about 7,200 outside of the United States,” Oberhelman said.

Caterpillar Outlook      

Caterpillar has increased the profit outlook for 2012 while maintaining the sales and revenues outlook in the range of $68 to $72 billion. While the overall outlook range for sales and revenues has not changed, better growth than initially expected in North America is now expected to about offset slowing sales and revenues in China and Brazil. The outlook for profit per share is now expected to be about $9.50 at the middle of the sales and revenues outlook range. The previous profit per share outlook was about $9.25 at the middle of the sales and revenues outlook range.

“We remain on track for another record-breaking year in 2012 at a time when U.S. construction activity remains depressed and economies in Europe, China and Brazil have slowed. While our outlook reflects a record year, we are highly focused on preparing for additional growth over the next few years. Although it’s tough to predict the exact timing, we expect positive economic growth moving forward,” Oberhelman said.

“China and Brazil took steps in 2011 to slow their economies and bring inflation under control. Both countries have realized inflation levels in their targeted range and have begun to move to more accommodative economic policies that should support improved growth later this year. Improvement in those economies, better growth in Europe in the coming years and our view that the United States will continue to improve is why we are so focused on improving factory efficiency and putting additional capacity in place,” Oberhelman said.

We have a record order backlog today, and we need to be ready for continued growth,” Oberhelman said.

Full financial report.

Machinery and Power Systems Sales

  • 1Q 2012: $15,288 million
  • 1Q 2011: $12,277 million
  • % change: +25 %