Caterpillar reports 1Q results

Caterpillar Inc. today reported a first-quarter profit of $1.1 billion, or $1.81 a share.

Caterpillar Inc. today reported a first-quarter profit of $1.1 billion, or $1.81 a share, up from $922 million, or $1.44 a share, in the same quarter last year.

Sales and revenue for the quarter that ended March 31 totaled $12.7 billion, down about 4 percent from $13.2 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

The first-quarter profit included a pretax gain of $120 million, or about 14 cents a share, from the sale of Caterpillar’s remaining interest in the company’s former third-party logistics business. Caterpillar sold a majority interest in the business in 2012 and divested the remaining interest in the first quarter this year.

“We delivered solid results for the first quarter of this year, including higher profit than in the first quarter of 2014,” Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a statement.

“Our focus on operational improvement, including lean manufacturing and cost management, is helping in what is a tough time for some of our important cyclical businesses,” he said. “We continue to execute on improving safety, quality, inventory turns, delivery performance and market position.”

The company raised its guidance slightly for 2015, to $5 a share (excluding restructuring costs) from $4.75.

The expectation for restructuring costs is now about $250 million, $100 million higher than the previous outlook, with the increase primarily related to facilities that produce mining products.

The 2015 outlook for sales and revenue remains unchanged at about $50 billion.

“We had a solid first quarter, which led to raising the profit outlook for 2015,” Oberhelman said. “However, we continue to face headwinds and uncertainty in 2015, and our outlook for the year reflects that. We expect sales and profit in each of the remaining three quarters of 2015 to be lower than the first quarter.”