Caterpillar First Quarter Sales and Revenue up from 2016

Caterpillar's first quarter 2017 sales increased from 2016; while the company sees signs of recovery, it says market uncertainty and volatility remain.

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Caterpillar Inc. has announced first quarter 2017 sales and revenues of $9.8 billion, compared with $9.5 billion in the first quarter of 2016. First quarter 2017 profit per share was $0.32, compared with $0.46 per share in the first quarter of 2016. Excluding restructuring costs, first quarter 2017 profit per share was $1.28, double first-quarter 2016 profit per share excluding restructuring costs of $0.64 per share.

"Our team delivered outstanding operational performance and, for the first time in more than 2 years, same quarter sales and revenues increased," says Caterpillar Chief Executive Officer Jim Umpleby. "We're also benefiting from our significant cost reduction and restructuring actions, which have improved cash flow and further strengthened an already healthy balance sheet. With this momentum, we will continue to focus investment on improving our competitive position by investing in new technologies and improving our productivity to deliver profit growth and shareholder value."

2017 Outlook

While Caterpillar had strong first-quarter performance and is seeing signs of recovery in several of the industries it serves, geopolitical and market uncertainty along with volatility in commodity prices continue to present risks for the rest of the year.

In January 2017, Caterpillar provided an outlook range for sales and revenues for the full year of $36 billion to $39 billion with a midpoint of $37.5 billion. As a result of a stronger than expected start to the year, the company's expectations for full-year 2017 sales and revenues have increased. The current sales and revenues outlook is now a range of $38 billion to $41 billion with a midpoint of $39.5 billion.

For the full year of 2017, Caterpillar expects profit per share of about $2.10 at the midpoint of the sales and revenues outlook range, or about $3.75 per share excluding restructuring costs. The previous outlook for 2017 profit per share was about $2.30 per share at the midpoint of the sales and revenues outlook, or about $2.90 per share excluding restructuring costs.

Restructuring costs expected in 2017 are significantly higher than the prior outlook primarily due to ongoing manufacturing facility consolidations. The company expects to incur about $1.25 billion of restructuring costs in 2017, an increase of $750 million from the prior outlook, as the current outlook now includes restructuring costs for recently announced actions at manufacturing facilities in Gosselies, Belgium, and Aurora, IL.

"There are encouraging signs, with promising quoting activity in many of the markets we serve and retail sales to users turning positive for both machines and Energy & Transportation for the first time in several years," continues Umpleby. "While we are raising the full-year outlook for sales and revenues, there continues to be uncertainty across the globe, potential for volatility in commodity prices, and weakness in key markets."

The 2017 outlook does not include a mark-to-market gain or loss for remeasurement of pension and OPEB plans.