Sales of construction equipment were strong in North America in 2018
Sales of construction equipment were strong in North America in 2018.

Caterpillar Revenues Jump 20.2 Percent in 2018

Caterpillar posted $14.3 billion in sales and revenues in the fourth quarter compared with $12.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 10.9-percent increase. Full year sales and revenues were $54.7 billion, compared with $45.5 billion in full-year 2017, a 20.2-percent jump.

Fourth quarter 2018 profit was $1.78 per share compared with a loss of $2.18 per share in the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted profit per share in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $2.55 per share, compared with $2.16 adjusted profit per share in Q417, an 18-percent increase. Full-year profit per share was $10.26 in 2018, compared with profit per share of $1.26 in 2017. Adjust profit per share leaped from $6.88 to $11.22, a 63.1-percent hike.

“In 2018, Caterpillar achieved record profit per share and returned significant levels of capital to shareholders,” said Caterpillar chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby. “Our global team remained focused on serving our customers, executing our strategy and investing for future profitable growth.”

Caterpillar expects 2019 profit per share to increase to a range of $11.75 to $12.75 per share.

“Our outlook assumes a modest sales increase based on the fundamentals of our diverse end markets as well as the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment,” said Umpleby. “We will continue to focus on operational excellence, including cost discipline, while investing in expanded offerings and services to drive long-term profitable growth.”

Construction Industries’ total sales were $5.705 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with $5.295 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 7.7-percent year-over-year increase, mostly the result of higher sales volume for construction equipment. Favorable price realization was mostly offset by unfavorable currency impacts caused by a stronger U.S. dollar.

In North America, the sales increase was driven by higher demand for new equipment, with about half caused by an increase in dealer inventories. The increase in demand was primarily to support oil-and-gas activities, including pipelines, and non-residential building construction activities. Favorable price realization also contributed to the sales improvement.

Construction activities remained at low levels in Latin America. Sales increased in Europe, Africa and the Middle East as infrastructure, road and non-residential building construction activities drove higher demand in Europe, partially offset by weakness in the Middle East.

Sales in Asia/Pacific declined because of lower demand in China, partially offset by higher demand in a few other countries in the region. Unfavorable currency impacts also contributed to the sales decline.

Construction Industries’ profit was $845 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with $837 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The increase in profit was a result of favorable price realization and higher sales volume, mostly offset by higher manufacturing costs, including material, labor and freight costs.

The Energy & Transportation’s total sales were $6.287 billion in the fourth quarter compared with $5.640 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, an 11.5-percent jump, based on higher sales volume across all applications except industrial, which was flat. Sales increased in oil and gas because of higher demand for reciprocating engines in North America for gas compression and well-servicing applications. Sales improved across all regions in power generation, with the largest increases in North America and EAME, primarily for reciprocating engine applications including data centers and other large power generation projects.

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