US group Caterpillar (CAT) posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday, helped by increased demand for its construction machinery, but worried about potential supply chain disruptions.
“We are monitoring a variety of external factors that may moderate the positive impact of the improving market,” CEO Jim Umpleby said on a conference call following the release of the results.
“This includes the recent acceleration of the pandemic in parts of the world, potential supply chain disruptions, and cost pressures.”
The group boss also said that he was particularly monitoring the current shortage of semiconductors in the world and the price of raw materials, which has been very excited for some.
After making significant progress in the wake of its results, the Caterpillar title lost 2.67% to 226.22 dollars around 11:20 am on Wall Street.
Caterpillar is considered a barometer of the global economy’s health as its machinery, equipment, equipment, and services are used in many industries depending on the economic conditions.
Initially, on Thursday, the group’s quarterly accounts positively surprised investors.
Caterpillar’s construction division saw the group’s most robust sales growth, 27%, to $ 5.5 billion.
Meanwhile, profits jumped 62%, driven by increased end-user demand and restocking.
The rise in the construction segment was mainly driven by the Asia / Pacific region (+ 72% of turnover), which benefited from a favorable exchange rate on the Chinese currency, and by Latin America ( + 48%), weighted for its part by unfavorable exchange rates.
In the United States, activity there remained stable (+ 2%).
The group had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the contraction of global economic activity in 2020 has seen its annual profit plunge by more than 50%.
The group’s energy and transport division, for its part, experienced more modest growth of 4%, up in all regions except Asia-Pacific.
Within this division, activities aimed at energy production and those for the oil and gas sector saw their sales increase by 13% and 6%, respectively.
Overall, the group’s turnover stood at $ 11.9 billion for the first three months of the year, up 12% year-on-year and higher than analysts’ expectations of 11.09 billion.
Operating profit was up 29% to $ 1.8 billion.
Reported per share and excluding special items, the benchmark on Wall Street, Caterpillar’s profit was $ 2.87, well above expectations of $ 1.94.