Reduced sales, lower production and a decline in inventory
primarily resulted in lower fourth quarter 2012 earnings for
). However, the company reported record fiscal 2012 with respect
to both earnings and revenues. On the news, CAT shares were up
2.54% to $98.01 in pre-market trading.
In the fourth quarter, adjusted EPS was $1.91, down 18% from
$2.32 in the prior-year quarter, but ahead of the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $1.70.
As announced earlier this month, Caterpillar unearthed
accounting misconduct at its recently acquired company ERA Mining
Machinery Limited (ERA) as well as its subsidiary Zhengzhou Siwei
Mechanical & Electrical Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Siwei).
Including the goodwill impairment charge of $580 million or 87
cents per share, EPS in the quarter stood at $1.04.
Revenues dipped 7% to $16.1 billion in the quarter but managed
to edge past beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16 billion.
The impact of changes in dealer new machine inventories had a
negative impact of about $1.4 billion as dealers reduced
inventories by about $600 million in contrast to as against an
increase of about $800 million in prior-year quarter.
However, price realization of $421 million and the favorable
net impact of acquisitions and divestitures of $116 million were
the bright spots in the quarter.
Sales decreased in North America but increased in Latin
America. Within Asia/Pacific, decreases in China and other parts
mitigated the sales increases higher sales in Australia and
Japan. Within EAME, lower sales in Europe and CIS were somewhat
offset by increased sales in the Middle East and Africa.
Cost of sales improved 7% to $11.9 billion in the quarter.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses increased
7% to $1.59 billion and research and development (R&D)
expenses inched up 1% to $613 million.
Operating profit was an adjusted $1.6 billion (excluding the
above-mentioned charge), a decline of 17% from $1.96 million in
the fourth quarter of 2011. Including the charge, operating
profit in the quarter was $1.038 billion, down 47% from the year
ago quarter. Increased manufacturing costs due to inefficiencies
arising from lower production and declining inventory, lower
sales volume, partially offset by favorable price realization,
led to the decline in operating profit.
Machinery and Power System (M&PS) revenues decreased 7% to
$15.3 billion. Sales decline of 25% in the Construction
Industries dragged down the overall revenues as dealers reduced
new machine inventory levels in the quarter. Resource
Industries' sales improved 16% on the back of higher volume,
improved price realization and an increase in Bucyrus sales of
$102 million. Power Systems' sales decreased 9% on lower sales
Financial Products' revenues increased 5% to $789 million as
the positive impact of higher average earning assets were offset
by an unfavorable impact of lower average financing rates on new
and existing finance receivables and operating leases.
Financial Products' profits increased to $180 million from
$134 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The increase was
attributed to a $34 million impact from lower claims experience
at Cat Insurance and a $32 million favorable impact of higher
average earning assets.
2012: A Record Year
Earnings per share in fiscal 2012 were an all-time record at
$9.35, up 26% from $7.40 in the prior year and striding ahead of
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.14. Results also outperformed
management earnings guidance of $9.00 to $9.60. Including the
goodwill impairment charge incurred in the fourth quarter,
earnings per share was $8.48, still a record.
Revenues for the year increased 10% to a record $65.875
billion, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $65.56 billion
and close to management guidance of sales of $66 billion.
As of 2012-end, Caterpillar had cash and short-term
investments of $5.5 billion, up from $3 billion as of 2011 end.
Total debt-to-capital ratio improved to 70% as of 2012 end from
73% as of 2011 end. The debt-to-capital ratio at M&PS
decreased to 37.4% at the end of the year from 42.7% as of 2011
Total cash flow from operating activities in fiscal 2012 was
$5.2 billion compared with $7 billion in the prior year.
Operating cash flow at M&PS plunged to $4.2 million in the
year from $8 billion in the prior year, mainly due to unfavorable
changes in working capital, most significantly accounts
Fiscal 2013 Outlook
The company did not provide a specific outlook for the first
quarter of fiscal 2013 but hinted that sales will be
significantly lower than the first quarter of 2012 as dealers are
expected to continue to lower their new machine inventories. The
company foresees earnings to be affected by lower-than-expected
sales and the negative cost impact of continuing low production
levels and declining inventory.
For fiscal 2013, sales are expected to be in the range of $60
to $68 billion and earnings between $7.00 and $9.00. The guidance
has factored an improving U.S. economy, albeit at a slow
China's economy is expected to improve but will not regain the
standards set in 2010 and 2011. Economic uncertainty is expected
to plague Europe in 2013. The second half of 2013 is expected to
be relatively stronger than the first half.
As per recent indicators, the U.S. residential and
non-residential construction is finally stabilizing and is on the
road to a much-awaited recovery. Further improvement is expected
in 2013. This bodes well for Caterpillar going ahead.
Caterpillar had been persistently adding production capacity
for many of its products. However, with the growing concerns and
uncertainty about the pace of world economic growth, short-term
economic risks in the U.S, the Euro zone debt crisis and the
slowdown in China's growth, Caterpillar has now opted to be
cautious regarding acquisitions and investments for
The company plans to remain focused on its cost control
measures and continue to invest in research and development. The
recent loss of sales momentum, negative impact of the European
debt crisis and a slowing Chinese economy remain
Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc. is the manufacturer of
construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas
engines, and industrial gas turbines. The company is one of the
few leading U.S. companies in an industry that competes globally
from a principally domestic manufacturing base.
Caterpillar currently retains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Its
Joy Global, Inc.
H&E Equipment Services Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
) have yet to announce their fourth quarter results.
CATERPILLAR INC (CAT): Free Stock Analysis
H&E EQUIP SVCS (HEES): Free Stock Analysis
JOY GLOBAL INC (JOY): Free Stock Analysis
MANITOWOC INC (MTW): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.