Caterpillar CEO sees return of higher sales

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At its 2009 annual meeting, Caterpillar chairman and CEO James W. Owens told stockholders he expects the company's sales to return to previous levels in the next five years, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"I would put odds around 80 percent that in the next five years or so we would be back to over the $50 billion [sales] threshold," he said at the June 10 meeting.

Owens' remarks were made in the context of reiterating the company's long-term sales goals pursuant to its Vision 2020 and noting the challenges faced in achieving those goals.

Caterpillar reported sales of $51.324 billion in 2008. It is the world's largest manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines, construction and mining equipment, and industrial gas turbines.

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