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Caterpillar reports 4Q, year-end results

Caterpillar Inc. today said it had fourth-quarter sales and revenue of $11 billion, down from $14.2 billion in the 2014 quarter.

Caterpillar Inc. today said it had fourth-quarter sales and revenue of $11 billion, down from $14.2 billion in the 2014 quarter.

The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $87 million, or 15 cents a diluted share, down from a profit of $757 million, or $1.23 a share, in the prior year’s quarter.

Excluding restructuring costs, the profit per share for the quarter was 74 cents, compared with $1.35 in the 2014 quarter.

“Cost management, restructuring actions and operational execution are helping the company while sales and revenues remain under pressure from weak commodity prices and slowing economic growth in developing countries,” Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a statement.

“We took tough but necessary restructuring actions in 2015 — and they were significant,” Oberhelman said. “I am proud that our team stayed focused on our customers in this difficult environment. Our balance sheet is strong; our product quality remained at high levels; we gained market position for machines for the fifth year in a row; inventory levels have declined and are well positioned as we look forward to 2016; and our safety levels are world-class. We are benefiting now and expect to even more in the future when markets rebound.”

For the full year, Caterpillar reported sales and revenue of $47 billion, down from $55.2 billion the previous year. The company said it had a profit of $2.1 billion, or $3.50 a diluted share, compared with $3.7 billion, or $5.88 a share, in 2014.

Sales and revenue for the full year were nearly 15 percent lower than in 2014 and 29 percent off the 2012 peak. The company said the two most significant reasons for the decline from 2014 were weakening economic growth and substantially lower commodity prices. The impact of weak economic growth was most pronounced in developing countries, such as China and Brazil.

This year, sales and revenue are expected to be in a range of $40 billion to $44 billion — a midpoint of $42 billion. The midpoint of the range reflects a decline of about $3.5 billion from October’s preliminary outlook for 2016 sales and revenue and a year-over-year decline of about 10 percent.

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