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Caterpillar Inc.
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At a Glance

Uppers

The Caterpillar name has strong résumé recognitions for future job applications

Good pay and excellent benefits

Downers

Location: Those unwilling to move to Peoria, IL-or overseas-will likely miss out on the best opportunities and challenges

Job security: While the firm has weathered the recession reasonably well, another downturn could jeopardize revenues, leading to layoffs.

The Bottom Line

Employees can fall through the cracks and find it difficult to move up at Caterpillar. However, the benefits of working for this industry leader greatly outweigh any drawbacks.

About Caterpillar Inc.

"The Caterpillar" was company founder Benjamin Holt's nickname for his new farm tractor with crawler tracks used in place of iron wheels. The 1904 invention has grown into Caterpillar Inc., the world's world's #1 manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, which includes excavators, loaders, and tractors, as well as forestry, paving, and tunneling machinery. It also manufactures diesel engines, gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. Subsidiary Caterpillar Financial Services offers a slew of financing products and services for dealers and customers, and its Progress Rail Services subsidiary provides remanufacturing and rail-related maintenance services.

Operations

Caterpillar is organized into four main operating segments.

Construction Industries (more than 40% of net sales) caters to customers using machinery in infrastructure, forestry, and building construction applications. Energy and Transportation (almost 40%) makes and sells reciprocating engines, turbines, diesel-electric locomotives, and related parts for power generation, industrial, oil and gas, and transportation applications. Resource Industries (more than 15%) makes and sells machinery for mining, quarry, waste, and material handling applications. It also develops and sells technology products for customers' fleet management systems and provides equipment management analytics and autonomous machine capabilities.

Financial Products accounts for the remainder of revenues (less than 5%) and consists of subsidiaries Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (Cat Financial), Caterpillar Insurance Holdings Inc. (Cat Insurance), and their respective subsidiaries.

Geographic Reach

Caterpillar's construction, mining, and power equipment manufacturing operations are conducted in facilities scattered across the US. It also operates a technical center in Mossville, IL. Additionally, the company has marketing and operating locations, parts distribution centers, and remanufacturing facilities worldwide.

Caterpillar generates more than 45% of its sales in North America, close to 25% in Europe, Africa & Middle East (EAME), over 20% in Asia Pacific, and about 10% in Latin America.

Sales and Marketing

Caterpillar machinery is distributed to more than 190 countries through a worldwide network of about 125 dealers (50 are in the US), many of which provide sales, rental, service, and aftermarket support. Most are independently owned and operated, though Caterpillar owns and operates its own dealerships in Japan and covers up to 80% of the Japanese market.

Caterpillar serves several different customer segments including mining, construction, electric power generation, industrial, marine, and oil and gas.

Financial Performance

After a steady decline in revenues over the past several years, Caterpillar's sales recovered in 2017 with an 18% increase to $45.5 billion compared with the previous year. The increase was primarily from higher sales volumes, mostly due to improved end-user demand in all geographies and end markets.

As a result of higher sales, net income in 2017 was $754 million compared with a loss of $59 million in 2016.

Cash at the end of fiscal 2017 was $8.3 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $5.7 billion to the coffers, while investing activities used $994 million, mainly for inter-company purchased receivables, partially offset by lower capital expenditures for equipment on operating leases. Financing activities used another $3.7 billion for dividends to stockholders and payments on debt.

Strategy

Caterpillar is working to identify and prioritize business opportunities that offer the most potential for growth. Using a data-driven approach dubbed the "Operating & Executing (O&E) Model," the company is assessing its financial performance by product, region, and application, and is investing in areas producing lower-than-acceptable returns. As a result, Caterpillar is streamlining its operations and expanding its product offerings and services portfolio.

With an eye toward expanding its products, in 2017, Caterpillar redesigned its excavator for the first time in 25 years and has more new products and rental offerings in the pipeline. Caterpillar has also increased its focus on services through its Digital Enabled Solutions Division (DESD). DESD offers Caterpillar's Cat Connect technology for road construction, which uses in-vehicle digital machine control and guidance to complete projects in up to half the time that of manual processes. The company is also stepping up its aftermarket services including service training, fleet management services, and a new myParts.Cat.com website where customers can buy parts online.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In December 2017, Caterpillar purchased the remaining interest in Intelligent Switchgear Organization (ISO), Caterpillar’s joint venture with Eaton Corporation that develops and produces low- and medium- voltage switchgear, generator set controls, and automatic transfer switches. The acquisition enables Caterpillar to streamline its supply chain by sourcing complete power solutions from a single suppler. Eaton will continue as a supplier of electrical components for these products.

Company Background

In 1904 in Stockton, California, combine maker Benjamin Holt modified the farming tractor by substituting a gas engine for steam and replacing iron wheels with crawler tracks. This improved the tractor's mobility over dirt.

The British adapted the "caterpillar" (Holt's nickname for the tractor) design to the armored tank in 1915. Following WWI, the US Army donated tanks to local governments for construction work. The caterpillar's efficiency spurred the development of earthmoving and construction equipment.

Holt merged with Best Tractor in 1925. The company, renamed Caterpillar, moved to Peoria, Illinois, in 1928 and went public in 1929. Cat expanded into foreign markets in the 1930s and phased out combine production to focus on construction and road-building equipment.

Caterpillar Inc.

510 LAKE COOK RD STE 100
Deerfield, IL 60015-5031
Phone: 1 (224) 551-4000

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: CAT
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Chairman: David L. Calhoun
Group President and CFO: Bradley M. Halverson
CEO: D. James Umpleby
Employees (This Location): 1,176
Employees (All Locations): 113,560

Major Office Locations

Deerfield, IL

Other Locations

Anchorage, AK
Albertville, AL
Arab, AL
Bessemer, AL
Boaz, AL
Montgomery, AL
North Little Rock, AR
Green Valley, AZ
Irvine, CA
Mojave, CA
Oakland, CA
Ontario, CA
Rocklin, CA
San Diego, CA
Torrance, CA
Colorado Springs, CO
Denver, CO
Paonia, CO
Pueblo, CO
Washington, DC
Jacksonville, FL
Lakeland, FL
Miami, FL
Miami Lakes, FL
Miramar, FL
Naples, FL
Wildwood, FL
Athens, GA
Atlanta, GA
Griffin, GA
Lagrange, GA
Patterson, GA
Thomasville, GA
Boise, ID
Aurora, IL
Carrier Mills, IL
Champaign, IL
Danvers, IL
Decatur, IL
Delavan, IL
Des Plaines, IL
Diamond, IL
East Peoria, IL
East Saint Louis, IL
Galesburg, IL
Granite City, IL
Joliet, IL
Mapleton, IL
Mc Cook, IL
Montgomery, IL
Morton, IL
Mossville, IL
Naperville, IL
Norris City, IL
Peoria, IL
Pontiac, IL
Rochelle, IL
Rockdale, IL
Springfield, IL
Varna, IL
Washington, IL
Charlestown, IN
East Chicago, IN
Lafayette, IN
Lebanon, IN
Muncie, IN
Peru, IN
Overland Park, KS
Parsons, KS
Pleasanton, KS
Wamego, KS
Ashland, KY
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Danville, KY
Louisville, KY
Mayfield, KY
Russell, KY
Taylor Mill, KY
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New Orleans, LA
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Saint Paul, MN
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Winston Salem, NC
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Lincoln, NE
Omaha, NE
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Overijse, Belgium
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Vantaa, Finland
Hagen, Germany
Hamburg, Germany
Leederville, Australia
Singapore, Singapore