On the Call: Caterpillar's DeWalt on sales

AP News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2010 4:43 PM
On the Call: Caterpillar's DeWalt on sales

Equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. reported a 96 percent jump in its third-quarter profit Thursday and predicted its sales growth would continue in 2011.

The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment benefited from strong demand in developing regions of the world, such as Asia and Latin America, because of good economic growth in those areas.

Mike DeWalt, director of investor relations for Caterpillar, talked about why the sales numbers have also improved in developed areas like the United States:

"With weak economic recoveries in the U.S. and Europe and with depressed construction activity, I know it is tough to understand why sales of Cat machines are up so much. And new machine sales in the United States are a good example that illustrates the point.

"Here is what is happening: First, sales to users peaked in 2006, then declined in 2007, declined again in 2008 and then declined even more significantly in 2009. From the peak quarter in 2006 to the bottom in late 2009, dealer machine sales to end users in the U.S. declined nearly 80 percent. Today, we are seeing improvement from those low levels as customers are buying some machines to slow the aging of their fleets. In addition, dealers have increased machine purchases for rental fleets."