Caterpillar announced its fourth-quarter and 2020 financial results.
The engine and heavy equipment manufacturer reported full-year sales of $41.7 billion, down 22 percent from 2019. The company said lower end-user demand and dealers reducing inventories by $2.9 billion were chiefly responsible for the decline — both related to construction and other shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fourth-quarter sales of $11.2 billion were down 15 percent from $13.1 billon for the same time period last year.
The company returned $3.4 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, and its Q4 adjusted profit per share of $2.12 reflects solid operational performance and a lower effective tax rate.
“Our fourth-quarter and full-year results reflect [our global] team’s agility in a challenging environment while executing our strategy for long-term profitable growth,” Caterpillar chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby said in a statement. “We achieved the adjusted operating profit margin established during our 2019 Investor Day while continuing to invest in products and services, [and] are well-positioned for the future and will emerge from the pandemic as an even stronger company.”