Caterpillar Inc. posted third quarter 2018 sales and revenues of $13.5 billion, compared with $11.4 billion in the third quarter of 2018, an 18.4-percent increase. Third quarter 2018 profit per share was a company record $2.88, compared to $1.77 per share in the year-ago quarter.
During the third quarter of 2018, operating cash flow for the Machinery, Energy & Transportation division was $848 million.
The revenue increase was the result of higher sales volume driven by improved demand across three primary segments, including an increase in dealer inventories. Favorable price realization, primarily in Resource Industries, contributed to the sales improvement.
“This was the best third quarter profit per share in our company’s history,” said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. “Our global team continues to do excellent work focusing on our customers’ success and executing our strategy for profitable growth.”
Operating profit for the third quarter of 2018 was $2.135 billion, compared to $1.509 billion in the third quarter of 2017. Manufacturing costs were higher because of increased material and freight costs. Material costs were higher primarily because of supply chain inefficiencies as the industry continues to respond to strong global demand. Selling, general and administrative and research and development expenses increased primarily because of investments aligned with the company’s strategic growth initiatives.
In North America, sales increased 22 percent from $2.165 billion in the year-ago quarter to $2.646 billion in this year's third quarter, with the increase mostly due to higher demand for new equipment, primarily to support oil and gas activities, including pipelines, and non-residential building construction activities. While construction activities remained weak in Latin America (a 5-percent decline), sales increased in Europe, Africa and the Middle East by 10 percent. Sales jumped 10 percent in Asia/Pacific, where sales increased across the region, especially in China.
The Construction Industries segment posted profit of $1.058 billion in the third quarter compared with $884 million in the third quarter of 2017. The increase in profit was a result of higher sales volume, partially offset by higher manufacturing costs. Manufacturing costs were higher because of increased material and freight costs.
For the first nine months of 2018, total sales and revenue was $38.192 billion compared to $30.482 billion in the third quarter of 2017, a 25.3-percent increase.