Caterpillar profits surge past expectations

The logo on a piece of Caterpillar heavy equipment is pictured at a storage yard in Denver in this...

The logo on a piece of Caterpillar heavy equipment is pictured at a storage yard in Denver in this July 22, 2008 file photo. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking/Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:44 PM ET

Caterpillar Inc. — parent company of locomotive builder Electro-Motive of London, Ont., where workers have been locked out for 26 days — reported a 58% rise in quarterly earnings Thursday.

The earnings far exceeded Wall Street expectations and are the result of increased global demand for construction machinery and mining equipment.

The performance caps a record year of profits and revenue for the heavy equipment giant, which recorded surging sales in most markets around the world.

The company said net income for the fourth quarter was $1.55 billion, or $2.32 per share, compared with $968 billion, or $1.47 per share, a year ago. That result was 59 cents above the analysts' average estimate of $1.73 a share.

Sales rose 35% to $17.24 billion, above Wall Street estimates of $16.05 billion.

Workers at the Electro-Motive plant in London were locked out after they refused to accept a contract that would slash their wages by more than half in some cases.

Worker Rod Woof shook his when asked if he understood why Caterpillar would want to slash $30 million in Electro-Motive costs after posting a profit of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

"I have no idea other than to think the CEO wants a bigger bonus. I can't understand their logic, I really can't."

— With files from Reuters


Photos