Caterpillar posted $14.011 billion in revenue for the second quarter, compared to $11.331 billion in the second quarter of 2017, a 23.7 percent increase. For the first six months of 2018, Caterpillar’s total revenue was $26.870 billion compared to $21.153 billion for the first six months of 2017, a 27-percent jump.
Profit per share more than doubled year over year in the second quarter, from $1.35 per share in 2017 to $2.82 in the recently concluded quarter, a second quarter record for the company.
During the quarter, the Machinery, Energy & Transportation division posted operating cash flow of $2.1 billion and the company repurchased $750 million of Caterpillar common stock. In June 2018, the board of directors approved an increase to the quarterly dividend of 10 percent to $0.86 per share. The second quarter ended with an enterprise cash balance of $8.7 billion.
“Caterpillar delivered record second quarter profit per share,” said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. “Our team is doing a great job executing our strategy for profitable growth, focusing on operational excellence, expanded offerings and services.”
Caterpillar is raising its 2018 profit per share outlook to a range of $10.50 to $11.50. Excluding restructuring costs of about $400 million, the company expects adjusted profit per share to be in a range of $11 to $12. The previous profit per share outlook range was $9.75 to $10.75, and the adjusted profit per share outlook range was $10.25 to $11.25.
“Based on outstanding results in the first half of the year and continued strength in many of our end markets, Caterpillar is again raising our profit outlook for 2018,” said Umpleby. “We remain focused on operational excellence, cost discipline and investing for long-term profitable growth.”
The company said most end markets continue to improve, order rates are healthy, and the backlog remained solid in the quarter. For certain applications, particularly in oil and gas and mining, the company is seeing strong demand and taking orders for delivery well into 2019.
The company is raising the outlook range primarily because of the continued strength in many end markets. Recently imposed tariffs are expected to impact material costs in the second half of the year by approximately $100 million to $200 million, company officials said, and the company expects supply chain challenges to continue to pressure freight costs. However, Caterpillar hopes to largely offset these impacts through announced mid-year price increases and using its Operating & Execution Model to further drive operational excellence and structural cost discipline.
Revenue growth came from three primary segments, with the largest increase in Construction Industries. Sales also were higher because of currency impacts, primarily from a stronger euro and Chinese yuan. In North America, Construction Industries revenue grew 18 percent in the quarter, Resource Industries jumped 31 percent and Energy & Transportation leaped 30 percent. The construction increase in North America was primarily from oil and gas including pipelines, and non-residential construction activities.
In the Power Generation space, sales improved 13 percent year over year, mostly because of higher demand in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, mostly from growth in the gas power generation market and favorably currency impacts.