Caterpillar to cut 2,500 jobs

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Caterpillar announced plans to lay off approximately 2,500 U.S. employees in order to align production levels with demand and resource requirements.

A breakdown of impacted employees by location will not be provided, Caterpillar said.

The company also announced it has started bringing back some laid-off employees and expects to return others to jobs as demand increases in the coming months. Approximately 550 U.S. employees have returned to work or will return before the end of 2010, including support, management and production employees.

“We are pleased that signs of recovery in the global economy allow us to return a selected group of laid-off employees to work,” Caterpillar chairman and CEO Jim Owens said in a statement. “But it’s important to remember that we are not close to the record-breaking demand we experienced from 2004 through 2008.”

Last week, Caterpillar updated its outlook for 2009 and issued a preliminary sales and revenue outlook for 2010. The company expects 2009 sales and revenue of $32 billion to $33 billion. The 2009 profit outlook range has improved to $1.10 to $1.30 per share, compared to the previous range of 40 cents to $1.50 per share.

Caterpillar’s preliminary outlook for 2010 calls for sales and revenue up 10 to 25 percent from the midpoint of the 2009 outlook.

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