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Earnings call: Caterpillar reports robust Q3 performance, raises full-year 2023 outlook

EditorPollock Mondal
Published 01/11/2023, 08:42
© Reuters.
CAT
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Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) has reported a strong third-quarter performance in 2023, with sales and revenues increasing by 12% to $16.8 billion, driven by healthy demand across most of its end markets. The company also saw a significant improvement in its adjusted operating profit margin, reaching 20.8%. Furthermore, Caterpillar generated $2.9 billion in ME&T free cash flow during the quarter and ended with a backlog of $28.1 billion. The company now expects its full-year 2023 results to surpass previous expectations, with both adjusted operating profit margin and ME&T free cash flow exceeding their target ranges.

Key takeaways from the call:

  • Caterpillar's Q3 sales and revenues increased by 12% to $16.8 billion, and the adjusted operating profit margin reached 20.8%.
  • The company generated $2.9 billion in ME&T free cash flow during the quarter, bringing the total to $6.8 billion for the year.
  • Caterpillar expects to exceed its ME&T free cash flow target range of $4 billion to $8 billion for the full year.
  • The company is investing in sustainability initiatives, including low-carbon intensity solutions and a collaboration with Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) to establish a zero-emissions lithium mine in North America.
  • Caterpillar anticipates slightly higher sales in Q4, with favorable pricing, and lower shipment volumes due to the Cat engine changeover and reduced inventories.
  • The company's balance sheet remains strong, with an enterprise cash balance of $6.5 billion and $4.3 billion in liquid marketable securities.
  • Caterpillar expects its full-year 2023 results to be better than previously anticipated, with adjusted operating profit margin and ME&T free cash flow exceeding their target ranges.

In addition to its financial performance, Caterpillar also provided an outlook for its key end markets, highlighting continued growth in non-residential construction in North America and positive momentum in mining and energy sectors. The company is also committed to its sustainability journey, investing in low-carbon intensity solutions, and has announced a collaboration with Albemarle to establish a zero-emissions lithium mine in North America.

Caterpillar also discussed its deal with Freeport for the retrofit of autonomous mining trucks, which it believes will deliver value to customers through autonomous operations and cost savings. The company continues to invest in its autonomous capabilities and aims to add more value to make customers more successful.

The company also highlighted its rental business as a growth opportunity and mentioned that it is working with dealers to expand its footprint in this channel. Caterpillar acknowledged the competitive environment and stated that it makes pricing decisions based on various factors, including input costs, competitors, and market conditions.

Caterpillar is optimistic about 2023, expecting it to be better than previously anticipated, with higher expectations for adjusted operating profit margin and ME&T free cash flow. The company is focused on executing its strategy for long-term profitable growth and will provide further updates in January.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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