Steel Products

Caterpillar Expects Challenging 1st Half 2013 but Record Year Deemed Possible

Written by Sandy Williams

Written by: Sandy Williams

Caterpillar Inc. had its best year on record for sales and profit. Revenue for 2012 was $65.875 billion, up 10 percent from 2011. Earnings per share were $8.42, up 15 percent compared with last year despite an impairment charge related to a Chinese acquisition.

Fourth quarter revenues were at $16.075 billion, down 1.168 billion from 17.243 in fourth quarter 2011. A focused effort by Caterpillar to reduce inventory due to diminished demand and orders took a toll on revenue for the quarter.

 “The $2 billion inventory reduction in the fourth quarter was a remarkable effort, but we’re not done,” said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman. “Reduced production levels are likely to continue at least through the first quarter of 2013 until inventories and dealer order rates move back in line with end-user demand.”

Caterpillar expects challenging conditions to continue for the first half of 2013 with conditions improving in the second half. A third consecutive record year is deemed possible, with projected revenue of $60-$68 billion in sales for 2013.

“The range of our 2013 outlook reflects the level of uncertainty we see in the world today. We’re
encouraged by recent improvements in economic indicators, but remain cautious. While we expect some improvement in the U.S. economy, growth is expected to be relatively weak. We believe China’s economy will continue to improve, but not to the growth rates of 2010 and 2011. We also remain concerned about Europe and expect economies in that region will continue to struggle in 2013,”
said Oberhelman.

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