CAT leaders: We're optimistic but prepared
Sep 25, 2012 (Menafn - Dayton Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Leaders of Caterpillar Inc. are optimistic, but prepared for challenging times, should they come.
That was what company leaders told industry analysts in a conference call and at the MINExpo mining equipment exposition at Las Vegas Monday.
Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar's chairman and chief executive, told listeners that during the "worst recession we've had in our lifetimes," the company has shown "what we're capable of." Caterpillar expects record sales and revenue in 2012. From August 2009, the company has focused on an earnings-per-share goal of 8 to 10, listeners were told. The company has an EPS of 8.94 today.
And for 2015, Caterpillar leaders want to be in the top quarter of the Standard & Poor's 500 roster of companies in terms of shareholder return, the company said.
Caterpillar expects 2013's economy to resemble this year's, but better growth is seen for 2014 and 2015.
For the second quarter of 2012, the most recent quarter, the company reported a profit of nearly 1.7 billion, an increase of 67 percent from just over 1 billion in the second quarter last year. Shares of the company CAT closed Monday at 90.87 a share, down 85 cents.
The Peoria, Ill.-based company focuses on production of heavy equipment for construction, power systems and resource industries. Caterpillar Logistics employs some 600 people at its distribution center off Hoke Road in Clayton.
A key part of the company's strategy is growth in the world's most populous nation, China.
"We still see long-term China as the place we have to be, and we have to be in a leadership position," Oberhelman said. The company has 16 factories and about 8,000 employees in China today, but the CEO also stressed the importance of nations like India and other Asian countries.
The CEO rejected arguments that mining for coal is somehow "dead." With 7 billion people on the planet today, and many of those people found in growing countries, those people will need power, and that power will require the mining of coal, he said.
"We intend with our mining business to be there," Oberhelman said.
Natural gas and the growing demand for that also bodes well for Caterpillar, he said. "We are so well positioned in this business."
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