Caterpillar dealer equipment sales slow in April

Thu May 17, 2012 11:09am EDT

May 17 (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc's dealers reported slowing growth in their sales of heavy equipment in April, with the sharpest deceleration coming in the Asia-Pacific region, the world's largest maker of earth-moving equipment said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

Global equipment sales were up 12 percent in the three-month rolling period ended in April, slower than the 18 percent rate reported for the March period, the Peoria, Illinois-based company said. Asia-Pacific region sales were up 5 percent, slower than the 15 percent recorded for March.

Sales of the company's power systems -- used on industrial job sites and energy-producing projects, for instance -- rose 5 percent in the period through April, after declining 1 percent in the period through March. That lift was driven by strong demand from the petroleum sector, which was up 26 percent in April the April period, building on a 12 percent rise in the March period.

Caterpillar shares fell 3.3 percent to $88.81 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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