Caterpillar's earnings show no recession looming

Record revenue and a bright outlook from the industrial equipment giant are signs the global economy is still growing.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 24, 2011 11:02AM

By Robert Holmes, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Caterpillar's (CAT) third-quarter earnings report is a sign the global economy won't suffer another wave of recession.

 

Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, reported a third-quarter profit of $1.71 a share Monday, an increase of 40% from a year earlier. Revenue jumped 41% to $15.7 billion, although the results include the company's acquisition of mining company Bucyrus International. Excluding that, revenue of $14.6 billion was an all-time record.

 

Most impressive in Caterpillar's results is the company's outlook for 2012, as the company said advanced orders and overall demand is very strong. Revenue should rise 10% to 20% from about $58 billion this year, the company said.

 

"This earnings report provides further evidence that the world is unlikely to head into a second recession and is likely to continue to show growth divergence with the growth markets leading the way," said Oliver Pursche, the manager of the $20 million GMG Defensive Beta Fund (MPDAX), which counts Caterpillar as one of its largest holdings.

 

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Though Caterpillar's forecast isn't calling for a boom in economic activity, Pursche argues that the impressive results "demonstrate that a slowdown in velocity of growth and velocity of demand -- less acceleration, but still acceleration -- should not be confused with an overall slowdown."

 

Caterpillar's strength internationally is one reason to be optimistic. North America revenue climbed 32% from a year earlier, while Latin America operations rose 31%. The Europe, Middle East and Africa segment saw a 51% advance, and Asia/Pacific revenue spiked 55%.

"We are defining 'growth markets' as countries such as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China), along with Turkey, Indonesia, Korea and Mexico," Pursche says. "From our perspective, CAT and other multi-nationals that have aggressively pushed and positioned themselves in these growth markets, should continue to perform well and should continue to benefit from the globalization cycle that is exemplified by the growth of a stronger middle-class in the aforementioned countries."

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