This earnings season has been a mixed bag so far, with Google missing but Apple blowing off the doors, metaphorically. Similarly, Alcoa did slightly better than previous guidance but still lost money while Caterpillar (NYSE”:CAT) was doing its best Apple impersonation making the analysts on Wall St. look like uninformed rubes.
The bellwether stock for U.S. capex projections posted a 58% increase in quarterly earnings over 2010. Caterpillar made $2.32 per share $0.59 above Wall St. projections on 4th quarter revenue of $1.55 billion. The company noted that they made money in all three of its primary product sectors, construction, power and resource. In other words they sold a lot more bulldozers, mining equipment and engines than anyone drawing a salary monitoring such things actually thought they would.
Their after-market business is also in very good shape.
Any reports of a major slowdown in China are not being seen by Caterpillar. They reported strong growth in China, gaining market share which is putting serious pressure on their production capacity. This would necessitate the addition of staff over and above the 14000 people they added in 2011.
The company’s guidance was also very strong saying that they would do even better in 2012 with projected annual earnings of $9.25 per share. Their capex expenditures will rise to $4 billion in 2012, a 53% increase over 2011.
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