Caterpillar reports 1Q results

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Growth in mining, strong replacement demand for products in the United States and a continued focus on cost management helped Caterpillar Inc. deliver a record quarterly profit per share of $2.37 in the first quarter of 2012, the company announced.

This represents an increase of 29 percent from the first-quarter 2011 profit per share of $1.84. First-quarter 2012 sales and revenues of $15.98 billion were up 23 percent from $12.95 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Profit was a record $1.59 billion in the quarter that ended March 31, an increase of 29 percent from $1.23 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

“These outstanding results demonstrate our continued focus on execution and controlling costs as we increase production and expand capacity to meet increasing demand from our customers. We’re seeing strong global demand for most mining products and significant growth in replacement demand for products in the United States, which more than offset slowing in China and Brazil,” chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a statement.

Caterpillar increased its profit outlook for 2012 while maintaining the sales and revenues outlook in the range of $68 billion to $72 billion. Although the overall outlook range for sales and revenues has not changed, better growth than initially expected in North America is now expected to about offset slowing sales and revenues in China and Brazil.

The outlook for profit per share is now expected to be about $9.50 at the middle of the sales and revenues outlook range. The previous profit-per-share outlook was about $9.25 at the middle of the sales and revenues outlook range.

“We remain on track for another record-breaking year in 2012 at a time when U.S. construction activity remains depressed and economies in Europe, China and Brazil have slowed,” Oberhelman said. “While our outlook reflects a record year, we are highly focused on preparing for additional growth over the next few years. Although it’s tough to predict the exact timing, we expect positive economic growth moving forward.”

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