Caterpillar preps factories, suppliers for wave of growth

Caterpillar (CAT) reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations and said it is positive about the global economic outlook.

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The company is preparing its factories and suppliers for continued growth.

“Caterpillar is beginning 2018 with strong sales momentum resulting from strong order rates, lean dealer inventories and an increasing backlog,” the company said in its earnings statement. “Additionally, there are positive economic indicators across most of the world and in many of the company’s end markets.”

For the fourth quarter of 2017, Caterpillar reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.16 on revenue of $12.9 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting EPS of $1.79 on revenue of $11.98 billion.

Caterpillar’s full-year 2017 revenue was $45.5 billion, and its adjusted EPS was $6.88.

The company expects 2018 profit per share in a range of $7.75 to $8.75. Excluding restructuring costs of about $400 million, adjusted profit per share is expected in a range of $8.25 to $9.25.

On their earnings call, Caterpillar’s executives were positive about the impacts from tax reform, noting that it would “even the playing field” and make U.S. companies more competitive with international counterparts.

Of the business highlights for the coming year, Caterpillar executives noted a redesign of its excavator, the first in 25 years.

Caterpillar's shares have rallied more than 73% over the past year.