Caterpillar posted first quarter sales and revenues of $12.702 billion, down about 4 percent from first-quarter 2014 sales and revenue of $13.241 billion. However, profit per share for the quarter was $1.81, up from $1.44 in the first quarter of 2014.
“We delivered solid results for the first quarter of this year, including higher profit than in the first quarter of 2014,” said Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. “Our focus on operational improvement, including lean manufacturing and cost management, is helping in what is a tough time for some of our important cyclical businesses. We continue to execute on improving safety, quality, inventory turns, delivery performance and market position.
Oberhelman said mining remained weak and construction was “down in most regions. On the plus side, Energy & Transportation turned in another great quarter, although we don’t expect this to continue due to the oil-related portion of the business.”
The company said the 2015 outlook for sales and revenues remains unchanged at about $50 billion, and the outlook for profit per share has improved slightly. The company now expects profit per share at about $4.70, or $5 per share excluding restructuring costs.
“We expect sales and profit in each of the remaining quarters of 2015 to be lower than the first quarter,” Oberhelman added. “We expect sales for oil applications to decline starting in the second quarter, and from a profit perspective, the first quarter included the gain on the sale of our remaining interest in the logistics business and that won’t repeat. The first quarter is usually the most seasonally favorable of the year for costs, and we don’t expect the rest of the year to be as favorable. In addition, we expect some increase in research and development expense as we go through the year.”