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Caterpillar Profit Falls on Lower Demand

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Caterpillar Inc., the maker of mining trucks and heavy equipment, today reported a lower second-quarter profit after dealers reduced inventory amid slumping demand.

Deerfield, Illinois-based Caterpillar posted a profit of $458 million, or 84 cents a share, down from $1.6 billion, or $2.83, for the same period last year.

Excluding losses from pension obligation, Caterpillar reported an adjusted profit of $1.03 a share.

Quarterly revenue totaled $10 billion, down from $14.4 billion in 2019’s second quarter.

Caterpillar dealers cut inventory by $1.4 billion during the quarter, compared with an increase of $500 million in the year-earlier period.

The company’s markets including mining and construction. Caterpillar sells heavy equipment globally and its financial performance is a barometer of manufacturing generally.

Like other manufacturers, Caterpillar felt the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The company increased cleaning and disinfecting and took other steps intended to prevent the spread of the virus. Caterpillar said almost all its plants were operating as of mid-July.

The company said its financial results would continue to be affected by COVID-19 for the rest of the year. Caterpillar has not issued a financial forecast.

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