Caterpillar posts strong third-quarter profit numbersCaterpillar Inc. recently announced that its profit for the third quarter of this year increased by 44 percent over its profit for the same three-month period of 2010, in part due to improved cost management.

The profit for the Peoria, Illinois-based construction equipment manufacturer for the quarter was $1.41 billion, or $1.71 per share, up from the $1.22 profit per share from the third quarter of last year, according to a release from the company.

Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman said that July to September period of 2011 was one of the best quarters in the history of the company.

"This was the best quarter for sales in our history, and our order backlog is at an all-time high," he said. "Excluding Bucyrus impacts, this was also our best profit quarter in history, and year-to-date operating profit as a percent of sales was higher than any full year in more
than three decades."

Caterpillar's global retail sales of construction machinery increased 31 percent in the quarter. This was despite the continuing trend of weakness in the construction industry in the U.S. as well as in Europe, reports Down Jones Newswires.

The news provider reports that it was the 17th straight quarter of sales gains for the company.

Caterpillar doesn't expect the good times to stop either, as the company improved its outlook for 2011 as a whole. It is now expected that total company sales and revenue for the year will be $58 billion, compared to the earlier predictions of $56-58 billion.

"Although there is a good deal of economic and political uncertainty in the world, we are not seeing it much in our business at this point. We believe continued economic recovery, albeit a slow recovery, is the most likely scenario as we move forward," said Oberhelman. "2011 has been an outstanding year for Caterpillar, and we are on pace for all-time record sales and profit."

Mike DeWalt, director of investor relations for Caterpillar, told analysts in a conference call that the increases in sales in developed regions such as the U.S. and Europe were due to a number of customers replacing older machines, reports Dow Jones.

The company also added about 2,000 jobs in the U.S. during the quarter, according to the release. 
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