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caterpillar profits

Caterpillar notches record profits for 2012

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Caterpillar reported all-time record sales, revenues and profit per share in 2012 despite economic uncertainty in the United States, continued economic turmoil in much of Europe and slower growth in China.

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Sales and revenues were up 10% from 2011 at $65.9 billion while profit was up 15% to $5.7 billion. However, fourth-quarter 2012 sales and revenues were $16.075 billion, down $1.168 billion from $17.243 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. 

Fourth-quarter 2012 profit was $697 million compared with $1.547 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.  Fourth-quarter 2012 profit was negatively impacted in large part to a charge of $580 million arising from accounting fraud at the group’s new Chinese unit Siwei.

Lower sales and revenues and the cost impact from sharply lower production and the $2 billion decline in Caterpillar inventory also had a negative impact on fourth-quarter profit.  Caterpillar's results are watched closely because they are considered an indicator of industrial activity and the health of the overall economy.

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