* Global equipment sales fall 13 pct in the three months to
* Asia-Pacific equipment sales fall 26 pct, North America
sales fall 12 pct
* Global sales of power systems fall 7 pct
* Shares down as much as 2 percent
March 20 Caterpillar Inc, the world's
largest maker of construction equipment, reported a 13 percent
fall in sales to dealers, particularly in Asia-Pacific, for the
three months through February.
The drop compares with a 4 percent decline in the three
months to January and a 1 percent fall in the period ended in
December, the company said in a regulatory filing. ()
Caterpillar shares fell as much as 2 percent to $86.42 in
morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Dealer sales in Asia-Pacific, which accounted for about a
quarter of Caterpillar revenue in 2012, fell 26 percent in the
latest three months. Sales in North America, which contributed
37 percent of revenue last year, dropped 12 percent.
Global sales of power systems, used in industrial job sites
and energy projects, fell 7 percent.
"We believe a tough comparison and still soft end-market
backdrop are the primary drivers for the declines in machines
and power systems," William Blair & Co analyst Lawrence De Maria
wrote in a note to clients.
Customers are also increasingly renting machinery, rather
than buying new equipment, De Maria said.
Caterpillar sells the majority of its machinery and power
systems to independently owned and operated dealers and original
High inventory has been a challenge for the Peoria,
Illinois-based company, which slashed production last year to
tackle the problem.
Caterpillar reported a 55 percent drop in fourth-quarter
profit in January. The company said it had an oversupply of
products in China but hopes to sell some of them by
The company is counting on a recovery in sales in the second
half of the year on an improving global economy, De Maria said.