Caterpillar reports 3Q results

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Caterpillar today reported a third-quarter profit of $792 million, 96 percent higher than the company's $404 million profit in the third quarter last year. The profit per share was $1.22, an increase from 64 cents a share in the third quarter of 2009.

Sales and revenues of $11.1 billion were up 53 percent from $7.3 billion in the third quarter of 2009. Engine sales were $3.25 billion in the quarter, up 21 percent, or $572 million, from the same period in 2009.

"Third-quarter results continue to demonstrate our focus on aggressively managing costs and improving cash flow while continuing to ramp up production to meet customer demand," CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a statement. "Continuing economic growth in the developing world has been key to improving sales. In addition, sales in developed countries have improved substantially after deep declines in 2009. While demand has increased, dealer new machine inventories and rental fleets have remained relatively flat, and the age of rental fleets hasn't improved, and that should be positive for us as we move forward,".

The outlook for 2010 sales and revenues is a range of $41 billion to $42 billion, an increase of 28 percent from 2009 at the midpoint of the range. The previous outlook range was $39 to $42 billion.

The 2010 profit outlook is a range of $3.80 to $4 a share, an increase of 173 percent from 2009 at the midpoint of the range. The previous outlook range was $3.15 to $3.85 a share.

"So far this year, due to higher demand, we have increased our work force by more than 15,000 people globally, including more than 6,000 full-time employees and 9,000 people added to our flexible work force," Oberhelman said. "I am pleased that we have put so many people back to work this year, and with continued global economic growth we will add people in 2011, but remain keenly focused on cost control.

"While we are expecting positive economic growth in the United States, the recovery is weaker than we've seen historically, particularly given the depth of the 2009 recession," he added. "To drive economic growth, we encourage government policy-makers to advance pro-business initiatives and a growth agenda. In addition, they should avoid policy decisions that may create trade tensions between the United States and other key trading partners and avoid tax policy that puts U.S. multinationals, like Caterpillar, at a competitive disadvantage, compared with non-U.S. competitors."

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