Caterpillar posts record 1Q profits amid fears of global economic slowdown
Caterpillar on Wednesday reported record first-quarter profits amid higher sales, results that could ease some concerns over the prospects of a global economic slowdown given the firm’s sprawling international operations.
Revenue at the Deerfield, Illinois-based company rose to $13.5 billion in the three months through March, beating analyst projections. Meanwhile, profits were $1.9 billion, or $3.25 per share, much higher than Wall Street anticipated.
In a statement, CEO Jim Umpleby touted Caterpillar’s strategy for growth through “investing in services, expanding our offerings and improving operational excellence.”
Caterpillar raised its 2019 profit outlook to a high of $13.06 per share.
Overall, total construction sales grew 3 percent to $5.9 billion, supported largely by a 13 percent growth in North America spurred by increased road construction. Meanwhile, sales fell in all other major markets, including China and Europe.
Profits in the sector fell to $1 billion due to, among other things, higher raw material costs as a result of President Trump’s double-digit tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
A 52 percent growth in mining sales in China also helped underscore an 18 percent rise in sales in the sector.