PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Caterpillar’s sales and revenue increased by 14% to $13.6 billion in the first quarter of 2022, but supply chain issues created problems meeting demand, the manufacturing company reported Thursday.
Caterpillar’s primary segments are construction industries, resources industries, and energy and transportation. Jim Umpleby, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar, said sales grew by double-digits in all three segments due to “volume gains and overall price”.
Umpleby said the first quarter of 2022 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of higher end-user demand.
“Sales and revenue increased by 14%, slightly better than we expected. The increase was primarily driven by higher-end user demand and the impact of changes in dealer inventories as well as strength in price realization,” he said.
Umpleby claimed the company’s top line could have been even stronger without supply chain issues, which created problems meeting demand. The company’s total backlog increased by $3.4 billion.
“We continue to experience constraints with semiconductors and certain other components. Our team continues to implement solutions to help mitigate the overall situation,” he said.
In order to combat supply chain issues, Umpleby said the company increased dual sourcing of components and executed engineering redesigns to provide customers with alternative options.
“I remain proud of our global team’s ability to deliver double-digit sales growth, despite supply chain challenges. When the supply chain conditions ease, we expect to be well-positioned to fully meet demand and gain operating leverage from higher volumes,” he said.
For investors, Umpleby said $800 in stock buybacks and $600 million in dividends were returned to shareholders. Profits per share increased by $2.86, compared with $2.77 during the first quarter of 2021. The adjusted profit per share was $2.88, compared with $2.87 during the first quarter of 2021.
“We remain proud of our dividend aristocrat status,” he remarked.
That means Caterpillar has paid and increased its base dividend for at least 25 consecutive years, according to John Creekmur, the senior wealth advisor at Creekmur Wealth Advisors.
“This number that Caterpillar gave us today is a strong indication that they value shareholders and returning the profits to them,” he said.
Creekmur said forward-looking factors like the war in Ukraine, inflation, and supply chain issues explain why Caterpillar shares slightly dipped Thursday despite the positive earnings call.
“When we look at the statement, what they’re looking for in the future, they kind of said let’s be cautious because we not sure exactly how are things going to play out,” he said.
Caterpillar CFO Andrew Bonfield said he expects second-quarter revenue to outperform the first quarter, supply chain issues notwithstanding.
“Supply chain challenges remained steady, which we expect to continue into the second quarter. Despite these challenges, we anticipate the top line will increase compared to the first quarter and continued strong end-user demand and favorable price realization … We expect continued strong end-user demand and pricing, although supply chain challenges will impact the extent to which we will be able to fully meet demand,” he said.
Caterpillar shares closed at $212.14 on Thursday.