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Caterpillar : Optimistic retail sales report boosts Caterpillar stock price

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03/21/2017 | 02:18 am

March 20--PEORIA -- Retail sales of Caterpillar Inc. equipment posted significant gains in Asian and Pacific markets in the three-month period that ended in February, lifting worldwide machinery sales to nearly the same level as a year ago.

A rolling three-month retail sales report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday reversed months of double-digit percentage declines and boosted share prices more than 2.5 percent.

After generally losing ground in the more than two weeks since federal agents raided the company's headquarters as part of a criminal investigation, Caterpillar stock closed at $95.40 on Monday, up $2.49 from the opening bell.

Total machinery sales in Asian and Pacific markets rose 39 percent over the three-month period, according to the filing. The machinery gains there offset losses of 3 percent in Europe, Africa and the Middle East; 21 percent in Latin America; and 10 percent in North America.

Worldwide machinery sales in the most recent three-month reporting period lost only 1 percent after posting 8 and 12 percent declines compared to the prior year for the three-month periods ending in January and December, respectively.

Retail sales of construction equipment in Asia and the Pacific were particularly strong for the three-month period ending in February, posting a 52 percent gain.

Energy and Transportation retail sales over the same three-month period, however, did not break into positive territory. Those sales figures were down 9 percent, which represented a less severe decline than in the three months ending in January (11 percent) and December (22 percent).

The figures disclosed by Caterpillar on Monday are based on unaudited reports voluntarily submitted by independent equipment dealers, according to the filing.

Matt Buedel can be reached at 686-3154 or mbuedel@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @JournoBuedel.

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