Caterpillar reports 3Q results

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Caterpillar today reported a third-quarter 2011 profit per share of $1.71, up 40 percent from $1.22 per share in the third quarter of 2010.

Profit was $1.14 billion, an increase of 44 percent from $792 million in the third quarter of 2010. Sales and revenues of $15.7 billion, an all-time record for the company, were up 41 percent from $11.1 billion in the third quarter of 2010.

“I am pleased with how we’re performing and optimistic about demand for our products, and that is why we are moving forward with needed investment in our business to support our long-term growth opportunities,” chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a statement.

“This was the best quarter for sales in our history, and our order backlog is at an all-time high,” he added. “We were pleased to be able to continue adding jobs — about 4,800 in the third quarter, with more than 2,000 in the United States — as demand for our products and U.S. exports continued to improve. This is a continuation of Caterpillar’s strong hiring over the past couple of years. In fact, since the beginning of 2010 we have added more than 30,000 jobs to our global work force, not including the impact of our acquisitions and divestitures.”

The outlook for 2011 sales and revenues and profit has improved, the company said. Total company sales and revenues are expected to be about $58 billion in 2011. The previous outlook was a range of $56 billion to $58 billion.

The profit outlook also has improved, and Caterpillar now expects 2011 profit of about $6.75 a share. The prior outlook was a range of $6.25 to $6.75.

“Although there is a good deal of economic and political uncertainty in the world, we are not seeing it much in our business at this point. We believe continued economic recovery, albeit a slow recovery, is the most likely scenario as we move forward,” Oberhelman said.

The preliminary outlook for 2012 sales and revenues is based on improving, but slow growth in the developed parts of the world, with continuing improvement in sales from what are currently low levels.

Caterpillar said it expects sales and revenues next year to improve 10 to 20 percent from the 2011 outlook of about $58 billion.

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