Cat votes to maintain quarterly dividend of 46 cents per common stock share

The Board of Directors of Caterpillar Inc. on Dec. 14 voted to maintain the quarterly cash dividend of 46 cents per share of common stock, payable February 18, 2012, to stockholders of record at the close of business, Jan. 20, 2012.

“As we come to the close of 2011, I am pleased with Caterpillar’s strong and steady performance during a year that has had many ups and downs in the global economy,” said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman. “In this environment, we have continued to increase wealth for our stockholders, while strengthening our financial position and improving cash flow. At the same time, we have announced a series of key investments to position Caterpillar for long-term growth,” Oberhelman added.

For 18 years in a row, Caterpillar has paid higher dividends to its stockholders, and since 1998, the company’s cash dividend has more than tripled. Including the announcement today, Caterpillar has paid a cash dividend every year since the company was formed in 1925 and has paid a dividend every quarter since November 1933.

Outlook Reaffirmed:

“Across the company this year, we have remained focused on our objectives and that gives us confidence in our ability to deliver on our business goals for 2011. Combined with our belief in our 2015 strategic plan, today we are reaffirming our outlook,” Oberhelman said in a written statement.

2011 sales and revenues are expected to be about $58 billion. The 2011 outlook includes about $2 billion in Bucyrus sales.  Excluding the impact of the Bucyrus acquisition, we expect sales and revenues will be about $56 billion in 2011. We expect 2011 profit of about $6.75 per share. The outlook includes a negative impact from the acquisition of Bucyrus of about $0.50 per share, which is unchanged from the previous outlook.  Excluding the impact of Bucyrus, we expect 2011 profit of about $7.25 per share. We are close to finalizing our business plans for 2012, and in late January when we issue our full-year results for 2011, we will issue a more detailed 2012 outlook.

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The preliminary outlook for 2012 sales and revenues is based on improving but slow growth in the developed parts of the world with continuing improvement in sales from what are currently low levels. We expect sales and revenues to improve 10 to 20 percent from the 2011 outlook of about $58 billion. The 2012 outlook includes a full year of Bucyrus-related sales of about $5 billion, up from a partial year of about $2 billion in 2011.