Caterpillar reported 1st quarter earnings of $.36 per share or $233 million compared to a loss of $.19 per share or $112 million 1st quarter 2009. Caterpillar's estimated earnings were $.39 per share and would have beaten the forecast although they were charged a one time health care of $90 million. Excluding this one time charge Caterpillar would have posted earning of $.50 a share beating the estimate of $.39 per share. Sales fell 11% to 8.2 billion but in Asia sales rose 20%. Manufacturing costs were $566 million lower which helps profits as sales declined.
Chairman and CEO of the company stated that industry activity and orders are higher compared to last year and record level in some areas. Caterpillar is increasing it's production as a result of the increase in demand. This jump in demand is mostly in developing areas like Asia and Latin America and mining equipment worldwide.Higher commodity prices will drive the demand for mining equipment to increase. Caterpillar officials said that some models of 2010 mining equipment are sold out and they are already taking orders for 2011 equipment. The company has hired about 2,000 people after releasing 19,000 full-time employess. CAT's 2nd quarter earnings are estimated to be $.74 per share. The company raised their outlook for 2010 raising sales and revenues range from $38 to $42 billion and profit expectations for 2010 to be between $2.50 to $3.25 per share. The outlook for CAT is looking up and I think it will continue to perform well.