Caterpillar's sales grew for the first time in more than four years

A growing global economy is boosting demand for Caterpillar's heavy-duty equipment.Caterpillar's sales grew la...

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 5:03 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2018 5:03 PM

A growing global economy is boosting demand for Caterpillar's heavy-duty equipment.

Caterpillar's sales grew last year for the first time since 2012. A construction slowdown in China and the collapse of oil prices several years ago had weighed on the company.

"After four challenging years, many key markets improved in 2017," CEO Jim Umpleby said in a statement Thursday.

Construction equipment sales in North America grew 46% last quarter thanks to selling and leasing more expensive machinery for home building, infrastructure and oil and gas industries.

Increased building and infrastructure spending in China also helped sales, the company said.

Oil's recent rebound helped Caterpillar's mining and oil and gas businesses. Oil prices have bounced back to $70 a barrel after record-low prices two years ago. Commodity prices and raw materials also have risen.

The company added 3,000 employees to its workforce to meet demand last year. 98,000 people worked for Caterpillar last year.

Overall, sales grew 18% from last year to $45.5 billion. Revenue rose in all three of the company's divisions: construction, mining resources and energy and transportation equipment.

Caterpillar took a $2.4 billion charge last quarter from the new tax law, which included a writedown of deferred tax benefits and a one-time repatration tax on profit stashed overseas.

Next year, however, Caterpillar expects to pay a 24% rate. It paid a tax rate of 28% last quarter. Caterpillar has not said how it plans to spend the savings windfall.

Caterpillar is the world's largest machinery company and is a bellwether of the economy's strength.

Related: Caterpillar to cut more than 10,000 jobs

Caterpillar hinted its construction unit could benefit even more if President Trump and Congress pursue an infrastructure bill. The president pledged a $1 trillion infrastructure bill during the 2016 campaign.

In 2015, Caterpillar slashed 10,000 jobs as growth in China slowed down and commodity prices fell.

The global picture looks much different today. Caterpillar expects its strong close to 2017 to continue this year as economic trends point upward. Its "preparing its factories and suppliers to be ready for continued growth," Caterpillar said.

Caterpillar shares fell 2% after initially rising by as much as 4%. Caterpillar boomed 70% last year, making it the second-best performer on the Dow.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather