Despite economic and political uncertainty in the United States, continued economic turmoil in much of Europe and slower growth in China, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) today announced record 2012 sales and revenues of $65.875 billion, an increase of 10 percent from $60.138 billion in 2011. Profit per share of $8.48 was also an all-time record, including the impact of the previously announced goodwill impairment charge of $0.87 per share related to Siwei. The 2012 profit per share of $8.48 was up 15 percent from $7.40 in 2011. Profit was $5.681 billion, an increase of 15 percent from $4.928 billion in 2011.
Fourth-quarter 2012 sales and revenues were $16.075 billion, down $1.168 billion from $17.243 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. The impact of changes in dealer new machine inventories lowered sales by about $1.4 billion as dealers reduced inventories about $600 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with an increase of about $800 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Fourth-quarter 2012 profit was $697 million compared with $1.547 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. Profit was $1.04 per share in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with profit per share of $2.32 in the fourth quarter of 2011. Fourth-quarter 2012 profit was negatively impacted by the previously announced goodwill impairment charge of $580 million, or $0.87 per share. Lower sales and revenues and the cost impact from sharply lower production and the $2 billion decline in Caterpillar inventory also had a negative impact on fourth-quarter profit. Those impacts were partially offset by a $300 million positive impact related to the settlement of prior-year tax returns.