Cat maintains dividend, reaffirms outlook

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Caterpillar Inc. will maintain its quarterly cash dividend of 46 cents a share for the fourth quarter, the company announced Wednesday after a vote buy its board of directors.

The dividend will be payable Feb. 18, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 20, 2012.

Further, the company said Wednesday it has reaffirmed its preliminary outlook for 2012, which was first stated at the end of the third quarter. It includes growth in sales and revenues by 10 percent to 20 percent from the 2011 expectation of $58 billion in sales and revenues, the company said.

"As we come to the close of 2011, I am pleased with Caterpillar's strong and steady performance during a year that has had many ups and downs in the global economy," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman in a prepared statement. "In this environment, we have continued to increase wealth for our stockholders, while strengthening our financial position and improving cash flow. At the same time, we have announced a series of key investments to position Caterpillar for long-term growth."

Caterpillar has paid higher dividends to its stockholders for 18 years in a row, the company said in a news release. Since 1998, the company's cash dividend has more than tripled.

Including the announcement today, Caterpillar has paid a cash dividend every year since the company was formed in 1925 and has paid a dividend every quarter since November 1933, the release said.

In speaking about the 2012 outlook, Oberhelman said, "Across the company this year, we have remained focused on our objectives and that gives us confidence in our ability to deliver on our business goals for 2011. Combined with our belief in our 2015 strategic plan, today we are reaffirming our outlook."

2011 sales and revenues are expected to be about $58 billion, which would be considerably higher than 2010 sales and revenues of $42.5 billion.

The 2011 outlook includes about $2 billion in sales from Bucyrus International, the Milwaukee-based mining equipment company Caterpillar acquired earlier in the year. "Excluding the impact of the Bucyrus acquisition, we expect sales and revenues will be about $56 billion in 2011," the company said.

It also said it expects the Bucyrus acquisition to add about $5 billion to sales and revenues in 2012, the first full year of sales from that acquisition.

Caterpillar said it expects 2011 profit to be about $6.75 a share, which includes a negative impact from the acquisition of Bucyrus of about 50 cents a share. That is unchanged from the previous outlook. "Excluding that we expect 2011 profit of about $7.25 per share," the company said.

"We are close to finalizing our business plans for 2012, and in late January when we issue our full-year results for 2011, we will issue a more detailed 2012 outlook," it said..

The preliminary outlook for 2012 sales and revenues is based on improving but slow growth in the developed parts of the world with continuing improvement in sales from what are currently low levels, the company said.

 

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).