Caterpillar today reported sales and revenues for the first quarter of 2009 were $9.225 billion, down 22 percent from $11.796 billion in the first quarter of 2008.
The company reported a loss of 19 cents per share, down $1.64 per share from the first quarter of 2008. Excluding redundancy costs, first-quarter profit was 39 cents per share. Redundancy costs related to reducing employment were $558 million before tax or 58 cents per share in the quarter.
"These results demonstrate significant reduction in our cost structure as a result of swift deployment of the economic-trough strategy we introduced in 2005. I'm proud of Team Caterpillar's response to these challenging economic conditions," chairman and chief executive officer Jim Owens said in a statement.
"Our business units are making the tough decisions necessary to respond to this widespread and sharp global recession. By taking aggressive and decisive actions now, we're positioning the company not only for success in the short-term, but to be even more competitive in the long-term when the global economy recovers," he added.
The company said it expects 2009 sales and revenues to be around $35 billion, but that could increase of decrease up to 10 percent. The high degree of uncertainty in the global economy, the timing and impact of stimulus measures and the extent of dealer inventory reductions make it very difficult to forecast sales and revenues, making the outlook range wide, the company said.
"A great deal of uncertainty exists in the global economy, making it extremely difficult to know how our customers will respond during the remainder of 2009," said Owens. "We will take action to keep Caterpillar lean, while at the same time making strategic product and operational investments to position Caterpillar for long-term success when the economy does recover."
Caterpillar is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.