Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 25, 2012 11:00 EST


Doug Oberhelman - Chairman & CEO

Edward Rapp - Group President & CFO

Mike DeWalt - Director of IR


Andrew Obin - BofA Merrill Lynch

Jamie Cook - Credit Suisse

Andrew Kaplowitz - Barclays

Robert McCarthy - Robert W. Baird

Ted Grace - Susquehanna Financial Group

Vance Edelson - Morgan Stanley

David Raso - ISI

Anne Diamond - JP Morgan



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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Caterpillar First Quarter 2012 Earnings Results Conference Call. (Operator instructions.) It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to you host, Mr. Mike DeWalt. Sir, the floor is yours.

Mike DeWalt

Thank you very much, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our First Quarter 2012 Earnings Call. I'm Mike DeWalt, the Director of Investor Relations and I'm very pleased to have our Chairman and CEO, Doug Oberhelman, and group president and CFO Ed Rapp with me on the call today.

Today's call is copyrighted by Caterpillar Inc., and any use, recording, or transmission of any portion of the call without our express written consent is strictly prohibited. If you would like a copy of today's call transcript, we'll be posting it in the Investor section of our website. It'll be in the section labeled 'Results Webcast.'

This morning, we'll be discussing forward-looking information that involves risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information. The discussion of some of those factors that, either individually or in the aggregate, we believe could make actual results differ materially from our projections, that can be found in our cautionary statements under Item 1-A, Risk Factors, of our form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 21st of 2012 and in our forward-looking statements contained in today's release.

In addition, a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures can be found in our financial release, and that will be posted on our website at as well.

Okay. This morning we were pleased to report our first quarter 2012 financial results, kicking off the year with the highest profit of any quarter in history. Sales and revenues were $16 billion, an increase of 23% from the first quarter of 2011, and excluding acquisitions of Bucyrus and MWM, which we didn't own a year ago in the first quarter, excluding them, sales and revenues were up about 15%.

Again, profit in the quarter was $2.37, the highest in history, and up 29% from the first quarter a year ago. In addition to the record-breaking profit, this morning we announced an increase to our 2012 profit outlook.

This morning I'll start with a quick review of sales in our three large segments; Construction industries, Resource industries and Power Systems. I'll start with Construction. That was up 13% compared with the first quarter of last year. The increase was organic. Construction Industries did not have acquisitions that impacted the quarter.

While total Construction sales were up 13%, the picture was mixed geographically. We had good growth in North America at 36%. The Europe, Africa, Middle East region was up 11%, and that is despite Europe's economic troubles. Asia-Pacific was about flat and Latin America was down 2%.

I think you can sum up Construction Industries in just a few bullets. First, the North American increase is primarily being driven by strong replacement buying after several years of weak sales. Europe is holding up with customer replacement being a factor, like in North America. And business was stronger in Africa, the Middle East, and the CIS.

Sales in the Asia-Pacific region were about flat for Construction Industries. China was down significantly, but the decline was offset by increases in the other countries in the region. China has been a highly topical subject over the past few months and in a few minutes, that is before we start the Q&A, I'll summarize more about what's happening to Caterpillar in China.

Now moving on to Construction Industries in Latin America, the 2% decline was more than all in Brazil. That decline in Brazil was almost offset by gains in the other countries in Latin America. While Brazil has weakened over the past six months or so, we have started to see the beginning of improvement there.

Okay, that's Construction Industries. Let's move onto Resource Industries, which is largely mining. And mining has been a great business. Resource Industries sales were up 73% in the quarter. The increase was evenly split between the acquisition of Bucyrus and organic growth. The addition of Bucyrus added a little more than 36% to Resource Industries, and organic growth in the rest of the business also added a little over 36%.

In short, sales were up substantially in the quarter. Orders were up and lead times for large mining trucks remained extended, with most models being quoted into 2014. In addition, our Resource Industries order backlog increased during the quarter for both Legacy Cat products and new Bucyrus machines.

While mining remains robust overall, US coal production is an area that has recently weakened. And over the past few months we've also been asked about the impact of US coal on our business. The answer is, it has had some impact, but not much overall.

To put it in perspective in terms of size, for dealer sales of our non-Bucyrus mining products, US coal represents less than 10% of total mining in 2011. In terms of Cat machines overall, this is our total machines including construction, it was about 2% of the total. And as a percent of our total business, it was less than that. Our Bucyrus product, the US coal impact we're seeing is largely related to a portion of the underground business. That said, the overall impact on Bucyrus sales isn't expected to be very significant, and we have not changed our 2012 outlook for sales and revenues for the two acquisitions of Bucyrus and MWM.

So for US coal, we have seen some weakening, but in the context of worldwide mining it's not much. In summary, global mining demand remains robust, and indications from our customers tell us that strong demand will continue. And again, our Resource Industries backlog continued to grow.

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