Caterpillar today posted third-quarter 2011 profit per share of $1.71, a 40-percent jump compared with $1.22 per share in the third quarter of 2010. Profit was $1.141 billion, a 44-percent leap compared with $792 million in the third quarter a year ago. Sales and revenues of $15.716 billion, an all-time company record, were a 41-percent hike compared with $11.134 billion in last year’s third quarter. Excluding the impact from the recent acquisition of Bucyrus International, profit was $1.93 per share, up 58 percent from a year ago, with sales and revenues excluding Bucyrus coming in at $14.581 billion, a 31-percent year-over-year hike.
Caterpillar credited continued improvement in demand, a company-wide focus on effectively managing the ramp-up through the Caterpillar Production System and focused cost management.
“I am pleased with how we’re performing and optimistic about demand for our products, and that is why we are moving forward with needed investment in our business to support our long-term growth opportunities,” said Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. “This was the best quarter for sales in our history, and our order backlog is at an all-time high. Excluding Bucyrus impacts, this was also our best profit quarter in history, and year-to-date operating profit as a percent of sales was higher than any full year in more than three decades. Machinery and Power Systems operating cash flow has also been very positive, with the first nine months of the year better than any full year in our history.
“We were pleased to be able to continue adding jobs — about 4,800 in the third quarter, with more than 2,000 in the United States — as demand for our products and U.S. exports continued to improve. This is a continuation of Caterpillar’s strong hiring over the past couple of years. In fact, since the beginning of 2010, we have added more than 30,000 jobs to our global workforce.”
Caterpillar has improved its outlook for 2011 sales and revenue, now expecting total company sales and revenue to be about $58 billion, compared to the previous outlook of $56 to $58 billion. The profit outlook has improved to about $6.75 per share compared to the previous outlook of $6.25 to $6.75.
“In the United States, we were pleased with the bipartisan approach that recently resulted in passage of Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea,” Oberhelman added. “That, along with growing bipartisan understanding that we need to do something positive about infrastructure in the United States, makes us hopeful that greater cooperation in Washington will result in actions that will help the economy, improve the prospects for job creation and help U.S.-based businesses compete around the world.”
Caterpillar is also predicting continuing growth in the developed parts of the world in 2012. The company expects growth in developing countries in 2012 to be similar to 2011 and expects sales and revenues to improve 10 to 20 percent from the 2011 outlook of $48 billion, including a full year of Bucyrus-related sales of about $5 billion.
In regard to production and supply issues, Oberhelman said, “We are continuing to increase production levels for many of our products and expect that supply will remain tight in 2012. That’s why we are making strategic investments in our business to position Caterpillar for continued success well beyond 2012.”
In regard to rental, Caterpillar said it expects dealers to continue to add to rental fleets to reduce average machine ages and increase fleet sizes.