Caterpillar reports 2Q results

Caterpillar Inc. today reported declines in second-quarter sales and profits and lowered its outlook for the full year.

Caterpillar said its profit for the quarter that ended June 30 was $960 million, or $1.45 a share, compared with $1.7 billion, or $2.54 a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales and revenues fell from $17.4 billion in the 2012 quarter to $14.6 billion this year.

“Even though our sales and profit in the second quarter are down from last year, I’m pleased with how our team has performed,” Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a statement.

“The $1 billion reduction in dealer machine inventory was more than we previously expected and was negative to our sales and profit in the quarter. While dealer machine inventory is low by historic standards, dealers are utilizing inventory from our product distribution centers and are positioned to reduce inventory even further. As a result, we expect dealer machine inventory to decline about $1.5 [billion] to $2 billion in the second half of 2013 and end the year about $3.5 billion lower than year-end 2012. That means that we are underselling end-user demand this year, and it sets us up for better sales in 2014.”

Power systems’ profit was $955 million in the second quarter, compared with $982 million in the quarter a year earlier. The decrease was primarily attributable to lower sales volume, partially offset by lower costs, including incentive compensation expense, and favorable price realization.

Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar revised its 2013 outlook, forecasting sales and revenues in a range of $56 billion to $58 billion and a profit per share of about $6.50 at the middle of the sales-and-revenues outlook range. The previous outlook was for sales and revenues to be in a range of $57 billion to $61 billion and profit per share to be about $7 at the middle of the sales-and-revenues outlook range.

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