Caterpillar reports drop in profit

New York, April 23 (IANS/EFE) Heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. has said it earned a net profit of $880 million in the first quarter, down 45 percent from the same period in 2012, when it posted a net profit of $1.58 billion.

Revenues totaled $13.21 billion in the period, down 17 percent from the $15.98 billion in sales posted in the first quarter of 2012, Caterpillar said in a statement Monday.

Profit per share in the first quarter came in at $1.31, down from the $2.37 per share in net profit reported during the same period in 2012.

“In our year-end 2012 financial release, we said the first quarter of 2013 would be challenging, and it certainly was,” Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said.

The Peoria, Illinois-based company revised its revenue forecast for 2013 downward to $57 billion to $61 billion, with $7 per share in profit, down from its original outlook of $60 billion to $68 billion in sales and $7 to $9 in profit.

“Considering the magnitude of the decline in sales and production, I am very pleased with our performance in the first quarter. We did a good job managing costs and made even more progress on inventory reduction,” Oberhelman said.

The company said it planned to repurchase about $1 billion of its stock in the second quarter.

–IANS/EFE

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