News Column

Caterpillar 4Q Profit Stronger Than Expected

January 27, 2014

By Alejandra Cancino, Chicago Tribune

Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. on Monday said it's fourth-quarter net income rose by 44 percent from a year ago, when Caterpillar took a large write-down of an acquisition in China.

Profit rose to $1 billion, or $1.54 per share, from $697 million, or $1.04 per share, a year ago. Revenues were down 10 percent to $14.4 billion, mostly due to a sharp decline in sales of mining equipment.

By segment, fourth-quarter sales were down 48 percent to about $3 billion in resource industries, which houses Caterpillar's mining unit. Caterpillar said mining companies are increasing productivity in existing mines rather than invest in expansions or new mine openings, which results in lower demand for its products.

Sales rose by 20 percent in Caterpillar's construction industries segment to $4.9 billion, due mainly to an increase in sales in the U.S., China and Brazil.

Caterpillar's $580 million write-down of ERA Mining Machinery lowered its 2012 fourth quarter results by 87 cents per share. The write off by partially offset by a $300 million tax settlement. Without those two items, Caterpillar's profit would have been up 8 cents per share instead of 50 cents per share.

Analysts expected fourth-quarter net income of $830 million, or $1.28 per share, on revenues of $13.7 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Caterpillar said it's full-year profit fell by 33 percent to $ 3.8 billion, or $5.75 per share. Revenues were down 16 percent to $55.7 billion. The company said it expects 2014 revenues to be about $56 billion, in a range of plus or minus 5 percent.

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