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Caterpillar Financial Picture Strengthens in Q2


Cat logoCaterpillar Inc. announced second-quarter 2017 sales and revenues of $11.3 billion, compared with $10.3 billion in the second quarter of 2016. Second-quarter 2017 profit per share was $1.35, compared with $0.93 per share in the second quarter of 2016. Excluding restructuring costs and a gain on the sale of an equity investment in IronPlanet, second-quarter 2017 adjusted profit per share was $1.49, compared to second-quarter 2016 adjusted profit per share of $1.09.

Caterpillar’s financial position continued to strengthen. Machinery, Energy & Transportation (ME&T) operating cash flow was $2.0 billion during the quarter, and ME&T’s debt-to-capital ratio improved to 38.6 percent, compared with 41.7 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2017. In June, the company announced a quarterly cash dividend increase and ended the quarter with an enterprise cash balance of $10.2 billion.

“Our team delivered an impressive quarter. As demand increased, we continued to control costs and generated higher profit margins,” said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. “While a number of our end markets remain challenged, construction in China and gas compression in North America were highlights in the quarter. Mining and oil-related activities have come off of recent lows, and we are seeing improving demand for construction in most regions.” 

As a result of increased demand across many end markets and disciplined cost control, Caterpillar is raising its 2017 outlook. Some risks remain in the outlook, including weakness in the Middle East and Latin America, as well as geopolitical and commodity risk.

In April 2017, Caterpillar provided an outlook range for full-year 2017 sales and revenues of $38 billion to $41 billion with a midpoint of $39.5 billion. The company is raising its full-year 2017 expectations for sales and revenues to a range of $42 billion to $44 billion with a midpoint of $43 billion.

For the full year of 2017, Caterpillar expects profit per share of about $3.50 at the midpoint of the sales and revenues outlook range, or adjusted profit per share of about $5.00. The previous outlook for 2017 profit was about $2.10 per share at the midpoint of the sales and revenues outlook, or adjusted profit per share of about $3.75. The company now expects to incur about $1.2 billion of restructuring costs in 2017. The outlook does not include potential mark-to-market gains or losses related to pension and other postemployment benefit (OPEB) plans.

“Given our performance in the first half of the year and current quotation and ordering activity, we are confident in raising our full-year 2017 outlook,” continued Umpleby. “We remain focused on serving our customers, delivering strong operational performance and executing our ongoing restructuring activities. During the second half of 2017, we anticipate making targeted investments in initiatives that are important to our future competitiveness, including enhanced digital capabilities and accelerating technology updates to our products. We intend to do this without adding to the structural costs we’ve worked so hard to streamline. These investments will prepare us to take advantage of the growth opportunities ahead.”