Caterpillar sales sag 31% in coronavirus slowdown

CEO: Caterpillar ready to respond quickly to any positive or negative changes in customer demand

Caterpillar profit fell 70 percent as the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 slashed demand.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based heavy-equipment manufacturer earned $458 million, or an adjusted $1.03 per share, as revenue slid 31 percent from a year ago to $10 billion. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating adjusted earnings of 64 cents per share on revenue of $9.69 billion

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CAT CATERPILLAR INC. 333.96 +4.40 +1.34%

“In the second quarter, our employees and dealers remained dedicated to providing the essential products and services the world needs under very challenging conditions,” CEO Jim Umpleby said in a statement. "We will adjust production as conditions warrant and are prepared to respond quickly to any positive or negative changes in customer demand."

Caterpillar, which is considered a bellwether of the global economy, saw sales in all three of its main business segments decline.

Construction sales fell 37 percent from a year ago to $4.05 billion, a decline exacerbated by stiffer competition in China. Mining revenue was off 35 percent, at $1.83 billion, while energy and transportation revenue slid 24 percent to $4.15 billion.


Caterpillar withdrew its guidance for the remainder of 2020 on March 26 and has not yet provided an update due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

Its shares have fallen 7.34 percent this year through Thursday, lagging the S&P 500's 0.48 percent gain.