Global retail sales of machines dropped 7 percent in May, Caterpillar said in a filing with the SEC. The company’s sales declined 9 percent year over year in April and 11 percent in March. Every region of the world declined in each of the three months with the exception of Latin America, where Caterpillar’s retail sales increased in each of the three months.
Sales in Latin America increased 22 percent year over year in May, after jumps of 12 percent and 28 percent in March and April, respectively. Sales in North America declined 16 percent in May, after drops of 11 percent and 18 percent in March and April.
Retail sales plunged 14 percent in the Asia/Pacific region in May, after larger declines of 24 percent and 20 percent in March and April. The Europe/Africa/Middle East regions declined 2 percent in May, after declining 8 percent and 3 percent in March and April.
Caterpillar lowered its fiscal year revenue and earnings outlook in April to a revenue range of $57 billion to $61 billion and earnings per share of about $7, whereas previously its outlook had called for revenues in the range of $60 billion to $68 billion, with earnings per share between $7 and $9. The company’s outlook for mining equipment sales is down about 50 percent compared to 2012 sales.
Caterpillar’s first-quarter results were disappointing also, as revenues declined 17 percent year over year to $13.2 billion, primarily because of the drop in demand in the mining industry and inventory declines. Caterpillar expects to benefit from a recovery in the construction sector in the United States, but the sales decline, a declining backlog and softness in the European markets remain concerns for the company.