Caterpillar revenue down 10 percent

Caterpillar Inc. today reported fourth quarter earnings of $1 billion, or $1.54 per share, up from $697 million, or $1.04 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The Peoria, Ill.-based mining equipment manufacturer reported revenue of $14.4 billion, down 10 percent from its $16.1 billion revenue in the same period a year ago. The company’s world mining division is based in Oak Creek and it operates a production plant in South Milwaukee.

For the full year, Caterpillar reported revenue of $55.7 billion, or $5.75 per share, down 16 percent from $65.9 billion, or $8.48 per share, in 2012.

Caterpillar pointed to a significant 2013 decline in mining equipment sales, but also the efforts it took to soften the blow.

“In such a challenging environment, I am proud of the way our employees came together in 2013,” said Doug Oberhelman, chairman and chief executive officer. “Despite a sales and revenues decline of about $10 billion, we set a record for operating cash flow, strengthened our balance sheet and improved our overall market position for machines. We continued to improve safety in our facilities and the quality of the products we ship each day. Cost flexibility is critical to our strategy and was a significant focus in 2013 as we took substantial actions to help maintain profitability as sales declined. Excluding the impact of cost absorption our manufacturing costs and SG&A and R&D expenses were favorable by $1.2 billion compared with 2012. It wasn’t easy, especially for our employees who endured an incredibly tough year, but the actions we initiated helped us deliver strong operational performance in 2013.”

The company reiterated its offer to repurchase about $1.7 billion of common stock during the first quarter of 2014, completing its $7.5 billion repurchase plan, and announced a new $10 billion stock repurchase plan ending at the conclusion of 2018.

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