Caterpillar today announced first quarter 2019 sales and revenues of $13.5 billion, compared with $12.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 4.7 percent. First quarter 2019 profit of $3.25 per share was a first quarter record and an 18.6 percent jump compared to $2.74 per share in 2018.
During the first quarter, Machinery, Energy & Transportation operating cash flow was $860 million. In the first quarter of 2019, the company repurchased $751 million of Caterpillar common stock and paid dividends of $494 million. The enterprise cash balance at the end of the first quarter was $7.1 billion.
“The global Caterpillar team delivered record first quarter profit per share,” said Caterpillar chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby. “We are executing our strategy for profitable growth by investing in services, expanding our offerings and improving operational excellence.”
Caterpillar continues to have confidence in the fundamentals of its diverse end markets, and expectations for 2019 performance are unchanged.
The first quarter revenue increase was primarily the result of higher sales volume driven by improved demand for both equipment and services, with the most significant increase in Resource Industries. In Resource Industries, total revenue was $2.727 billion compared to $2.309 billion in the year-ago quarter, an 18.1-percent increase. Sales volume also jumped in Construction Industries with first quarter revenue was $5.873 billion compared to $5.677 billion a year ago, a 3.5-percent increase. Sales grew in all regions except for Europe, Africa and Middle East, with the largest gains coming in North America and Asia/Pacific. Construction sales jumped 13 percent in North America and 19 percent in Resource Industries.
Operating profit for the first quarter was $2.207 billion compared with $2.108 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily because of favorable price realization and higher salse volume, partially offset by higher manufacturing costs and increased SG&A and R&D expenses. The increase in manufacturing costs was primarily because of higher variable labor and burden, including freight costs, including tariffs.
Operating profit margin was 16.4 percent for the first quarter in 2019 and the same in Q118.
The Construction Industries’ increase was mostly because of higher demand for new equipment, primarily to support road construction activities. Power generation sales increased primarily because of higher shipments for large diesel reciprocating engineapplications in all regions except EAME. Industrial sales were flat, with a decrease in EAME nearly offset by higher sales in North America.