Caterpillar reports rise in sales and operating profit margins for 2021

Staff Report, February 7, 2022

Increase in demand from end-users leads to 22% spike in sales and 13.5% rise operating profit margin

Caterpillar has reported a 22% rise in sales and a 13.5% increase in operating profit margins for the year 2021 on the back of higher end-user demand for equipment and services and the impact from changes in dealer inventories.

The global equipment leader said in an announcement that its full-year sales in 2021 amounted to $51 billion compared with $41.7bn in 2020, adding that dealers decreased their inventories $2.9bn in 2020, while remaining about flat in 2021.

Caterpillar added that the rise in its operating profit margin, which stood at 10.9% in 2020, led to full-year profits of $11.83 per share in 2021, compared with $5.46 per share in 2020. Adjusted profit per share in 2021 was $10.81, compared with adjusted profit per share of $6.56 in 2020.

The results were helped by the positive figures that Cat also reported for the fourth quarter of 2021, with sales increasing 23% year-on-year to touch $11.2bn in the quarter, Operating profit margin for the quarter stood at 11.7%, compared with 12.3% for the fourth quarter of 2020. Fourth-quarter 2021 profit per share was $3.91, compared with $1.42 profit per share in the fourth quarter of 2020. Adjusted profit per share in the fourth quarter of 2021 was $2.69, compared with fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted profit per share of $2.12.

Jim Umpleby, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar, said: “I’m proud of our global team’s continued resilience in what proved to be a challenging and dynamic operating environment. We delivered adjusted operating profit margins and ME&T free cash flows consistent with our long-term targets established during our 2019 Investor Day. Amid ongoing supply chain constraints, our team continues to execute our strategy for long-term profitable growth while striving to meet customer demand.”

Caterpillar’s announcement added that in 2021, the enterprise operating cash flow was $7.2bn for the full year and the company repurchased $2.7bn worth of Caterpillar common stock and paid dividends of $2.3bn. Liquidity remained strong, with an enterprise cash balance of $9.3bn at the end of 2021, revealed Cat.