November 18, 2016 / 9:21 PM / 3 years ago

Caterpillar global dealer machinery sales soft as decline pace slows

Caterpillar machines are seen at a construction site in New York City, U.S., October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) said on Friday its global retail sales declined 12 percent for the three months ended October, but the pace of the decline is less steep than in previous months, the data shows.

Three-month rolling retail sales ending in September and August were down 17 percent and 18 percent respectively. A year ago three-month sales ended in October were down 16 percent.

While the retail sales decline rate slowed in both the North American and Europe/Africa/Middle Eastern regions, the Asia/Pacific region saw some growth.

Total retail sales in Caterpillar’s Asia/Pacific region were up 12 percent, boosted by construction machinery sales, resulting in the third consecutive month of sales growth in the region.

Overall, the company’s retail sales remain weak, but are not getting worse, Jefferies analyst Stephen Volkmann said in a research note published on Friday.

While Caterpillar shares are up more than 30 percent from a year ago, most recently the shares have jumped nearly 9 percent since November 8, U.S. Election day.

Investors expect President-elect Donald Trump will be pro-U.S. infrastructure spending, though funding details of his proposed $1 trillion plan are not yet clear, analysts have said.

Even so, the company would not likely benefit from any U.S. infrastructure investment until late 2017, Amy Campbell, Caterpillar’s director of investor relations, said last week during a conference.

“It’s going to take some time for large infrastructure projects, for the funding to come in, for the projects to be planned, and for orders of equipment to be delivered,” Campbell said.

Reporting By Meredith Davis in Chicago; Editing by Sandra Maler

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