Historical Stock Chart
2 Years : From May 2011 to May 2013
Caterpillar Inc.(CAT) said Tuesday that global retail sales of its construction and mining machinery rose 27% in the three months to the end of January, as sales activity in North America continued to outpace the rest of the world.
The period was the 21th straight three-month period of retail sales growth for the world's largest seller of bulldozers, excavators and wheel loaders. Growth has been moderating in recent months because of tougher year-earlier comparison figures and softening economic growth, particularly in Europe.
Dealer-reported sales climbed by 30% from a year earlier for each of the two reporting periods to the end of December and November.
In North America -- Caterpillar's largest market -- sales rose 47% in the January period, down from a 51% increase in the December period, but better than the 41% increase reported in November. While the recovery in U.S. commercial and residential construction activity remains tepid, Caterpillar's sales have been soaring as equipment users replace worn-out machinery and dealers replenish the equipment fleets for their rental businesses.
Sales in Europe, Africa and the Middle East were up 16% during the January period, after December period sales increased 18% and the November period sales rose 32%. Europe's ongoing sovereign debt crisis and sharp reductions in government spending have been choking off economic expansion on the continent.
Sales growth in Latin America continued to cool as well. Caterpillar's January period sales from the region rose 13% from a year ago, after the region logged 10% growth during the December period and an 8% increase in November. Latin America had been one of Caterpillar's best-performing geographic markets as construction activity and mining expansions in developing countries such as Brazil drove demand for equipment.
In Asia, sales rose 25% in the January period after increasing 31% for both the December and November sales periods.
In Caterpillar's engine business, overall sales rose 22% in the January period, compared with an 18% increase in December and a 15% increase in November. Sales of engines to the petroleum industry reported the best growth, increasing 29% during the January period, following a 33% increase in December and a 34% increase during the November period.
Sales of engines for generating electric power rose 24% in January period, following a 23% increase in the December and a 16% increase in the November period. Engines sales for industrial uses continued to slow, rising 1% in the January period, after climbing 3% in December and rising 6% in November.
The Peoria, Ill., company created a new transportation category for engines that includes sales of engines to the marine industry and railroad locomotives sold by Electro-Motive Diesel. Sales of marine engines alone fell 12% during the January period.
Caterpillar's stock was up 0.8% at $114.90 a share.
--By Bob Tita, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-750-4129; email@example.com