Caterpillar Posts Best Sales Quarter in Company History

Profits soars 44% in Q3.

Industrial giant Caterpillar raised its full-year outlook on Oct. 24 as its profit increased 44% in the third quarter from a year ago on strong revenues.

Caterpillar posted $1.14 billion profit for the July-September period, compared with $792 million in the 2010 third quarter.

The manufacturer of heavy construction equipment said its acquisition of Bucyrus, a U.S. mining equipment maker, completed during the quarter had weighed on earnings. Revenues rose 41% to $15.72 billion. Excluding the impact of Bucyrus, they were $14.58 billion.

"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 Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar CEO.

"This was the best quarter for sales in our history, and our order backlog is at an all-time high," he said.

Excluding the impacts of Bucyrus, the company also had "our best profit quarter in history," he noted.

Caterpillar, often considered a bellwether of the global economy, said its outlook for the full year had brightened.

The Peoria, Illinois-based company raised its 2011 revenue forecast to $58 billion, the top end of its prior guidance of $56-58 billion.

"Although there is a good deal of economic and political uncertainty in the world, we are not seeing it much in our business at this point. We believe continued economic recovery, albeit a slow recovery, is the most likely scenario as we move forward," Oberhelman said.

"2011 has been an outstanding year for Caterpillar, and we are on pace for all-time record sales and profit," he added.
The company added about 4,800 jobs in the third quarter, including more than 2,000 in the United States.

Since the beginning of 2010, Caterpillar has added more than 30,000 jobs to its global workforce, not including the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, Oberhelman said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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