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Caterpillar 4Q Earnings Fall By Half

"What we discovered was deliberate, multiyear, coordinated accounting misconduct at Siwei," he said. "It was executed by several senior managers at Siwei for the purpose of inflating sales, understating costs, and over-reporting profit, and it included fabricated documentation designed to cover their tracks."

He said Caterpillar is "considering all options to recover our losses and hold those responsible accountable for their wrongdoing." He said the company wouldn't comment further on "pending or contemplated litigation."

Asked why the physical inventory at Siwei wasn't checked before the deal closed, Caterpillar Chief Financial Officer Brad Halverson said in an interview that such a check wouldn't normally be done as part of the process of evaluating a company. "We did our normal due diligence process," he said.

For all of 2012, the company's profits rose 15 percent to $5.68 billion, or $8.48 per share, up from $4.93 billion, or $7.40 per share, in 2011. Revenue rose 10 percent to $65.88 billion, from $60.14 billion.

Shares of the Peoria, Ill.-based company rose $1.87, or 2 percent, to close at $97.45 Monday.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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