Caterpillar says growth in mining, strong replacement demand for products in the United States and a continued focus on cost management helped it deliver record quarterly profit per share of $2.37 in the first quarter of 2012. This represents an increase of 29 percent from first-quarter 2011 profit per share. First-quarter 2012 sales and revenues of $15.981 billion were up 23 percent from $12.949 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Profit was a record $1.586 billion in the quarter, an increase of 29 percent from $1.225 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
“We’re seeing strong global demand for most mining products and significant growth in replacement demand for products in the United States, which more than offset slowing in China and Brazil,” says Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman.
“Our growth has also been good for jobs—increasing demand coupled with our acquisitions has led to a nearly 50-percent increase in our global workforce since the start of 2010, to a total of 155,710 people. Even without acquisitions, in the last year alone, our workforce in the United States has grown by more than 6,500 people while our workforce is up about 7,200 outside of the United States,” Oberhelman says.
Caterpillar has increased the profit outlook for 2012 while maintaining the sales and revenues outlook in the range of $68 to $72 billion. While the overall outlook range for sales and revenues has not changed, better growth than initially expected in North America is now expected to about offset slowing sales and revenues in China and Brazil. The outlook for profit per share is now expected to be about $9.50 at the middle of the sales and revenues outlook range. The previous profit per share outlook was about $9.25 at the middle of the sales and revenues outlook range.
“We remain on track for another record-breaking year in 2012 at a time when U.S. construction activity remains depressed and economies in Europe, China and Brazil have slowed. Although it’s tough to predict the exact timing, we expect positive economic growth moving forward. We have a record order backlog today, and we need to be ready for continued growth,” Oberhelman said.
Caterpillar worldwide full-time employment was 127,238 at the end of the first quarter of 2012 compared with 105,394 at the end of the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 21,844 full-time employees.
The increase was a result of additions to support higher sales volume and acquisitions, primarily Bucyrus and MWM, which added 13,687 people to the global workforce.