Caterpillar Inc. Climbs After Earnings Top Estimates

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) released its latest earnings report this morning before opening bell, posting adjusted earnings of $1.72 per share on sales of $13.55 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.34 per share on sales of $13.21 billion in revenue. In the same quarter last year, Caterpillar reported sales of $13.42 billion.

Key metrics from Caterpillar’s earnings report

Reported earnings per share were $1.63, compared to $1.45 in the same quarter a year ago. The company said its adjusted earnings exclude restructuring costs. Caterpillar reported “good” cash flow for the first nine months of the year.

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Caterpillar said that so far year to date, it has bought back $4.2 billion worth of its shares and raised its quarterly dividend 17%.

“We’re pleased with the third-quarter profit improvement considering world economic growth remains slower than we’d like,” said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman in a statement this morning. “We’ve continued to focus on what we can control — cost management and operational execution. We continue on a Lean manufacturing journey and are focused on improving safety, quality, efficiency and inventory turns. We’re making progress and it is beginning to be reflected in our results.”

Caterpillar narrows guidance, raises EPS guidance

The equipment manufacturer said it expects to see full year sales for this year to be around $55 billion. Caterpillar’s previous guidance was between $54 billion and $56 billion. For next year, management expects sales to be roughly flat with this year. They see potential for more infrastructure investment in a number of countries, including the U.S., Turkey and India.

They also said that there’s a “reasonable likelihood” that global economic growth will improve next year, pointing out that a number of the world’s governments have increased interest rates or taken steps to control inflation or protect their exchange rates, which resulted in lower growth this year.

Caterpillar also increased its earnings per share guidance, bringing reported earnings from $5.75 per share up to $6 per share. Excluding restructuring costs, the equipment manufacturer raised guidance from $6.20 to $6.50 per share.