CHICAGO Caterpillar Inc. posted record revenue of nearly
$65.88 billion last year, up 9.5 percent from $60.14 billion in
2011, and net income jumped 15.3 percent to more than $5.68
billion from $4.93 billion.
But fourth-quarter net income of $697 million was down 54.9
percent from nearly $1.55 billion in the same period a year
earlier, impacted by a goodwill impairment charge of $580
million related to accounting
at a Chinese subsidiary Caterpillar acquired in the second
quarter. A $2-billion decline in dealer inventories and sharply
lower production in the fourth quarter also negatively affected
earnings, the Peoria, Ill.-based heavy equipment manufacturer
Fourth-quarter revenue of $16.08 billion was down 6.8 percent
from $17.24 billion in the same three months in 2011.
Considering the weak economy in the United States, along
with much of Europe in recession and China slowing, we had a
solid year, chairman and chief executive officer Doug
Oberhelman said in a statement Jan. 28.
The inventory reduction went as planned, with Caterpillar
idling some U.S. facilities after incoming orders slowed
amm.com, Oct. 22
). Reduced production levels
are likely to continue at least through the first quarter of
2013 until inventories and dealer order rates move back in line
with end-user demand, Oberhelman said.
If recent upticks in economic indicators are sustained, 2013
could be another record year for Caterpillar, he said. On the
domestic front, we expect the first half of 2013 will be
weaker than the first half of 2012, with better growth in the
second half. Overall, we expect the world economy will begin
the year with weak growth and improve as 2013 unfolds.