Caterpillar fourth-quarter 2013 and full-year 2013 revenue numbers were down versus the prior year, but 4Q profit bounced back from 2012. The company also announced its intention to repurchase additional stock.
Fourth-quarter 2013 sales and revenues were $14.402 billion, down 10 percent from $16.075 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Profit per share in the fourth quarter of 2013 was $1.54, compared with profit per share of $1.04 in the fourth quarter of 2012. Fourth-quarter 2012 included two large items—profit was negatively impacted by a goodwill impairment charge of $580 million, or $0.87 per share, but was positively impacted by a $300 million tax settlement, or $0.45 per share. Excluding these two items, profit per share increased $0.08 from the fourth quarter of 2012, reflecting solid operational performance.
Sales and revenues for full-year 2013 were $55.656 billion, down 16 percent from $65.875 billion in 2012. The decline in sales and revenues was primarily driven by a sharp drop in sales of new machines for mining. Profit per share in 2013 was $5.75, down from $8.48 in 2012. Despite this challenging environment, the company reported record Machinery and Power Systems operating cash flow of $9 billion in 2013.
“In such a challenging environment, I am proud of the way our employees came together in 2013. Despite a sales and revenues decline of about $10 billion, we set a record for operating cash flow, strengthened our balance sheet and improved our overall market position for machines. We continued to improve safety in our facilities and the quality of the products we ship each day,” said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman.
“Cost flexibility is critical to our strategy and was a significant focus in 2013 as we took substantial actions to help maintain profitability as sales declined. Excluding the impact of cost absorption our manufacturing costs and SG&A and R&D expenses were favorable by $1.2 billion compared with 2012. It wasn’t easy, especially for our employees who endured an incredibly tough year, but the actions we initiated helped us deliver strong operational performance in 2013.”
Caterpillar also announced its intention to repurchase approximately $1.7 billion of Caterpillar common stock during the first quarter of 2014. This repurchase is expected to complete the existing $7.5 billion repurchase authorization that was set to expire on December 31, 2015, which was originally approved by the Board of Directors in 2007. This repurchase is in addition to $2 billion that was repurchased in 2013.
With the expected completion of the current $7.5 billion stock repurchase program, the Board of Directors has approved a new $10 billion stock repurchase program, which will expire on December 31, 2018.
“The completion of our previous program and the decision to announce a new $10 billion program are a result of our record cash flow, the strength of our balance sheet and our confidence in the long-term future of Caterpillar,” Oberhelman said.