Fourth-Quarter & Full-Year Comments from Caterpillar Chairman & CEO Jim Umpleby
“I’m proud of our global team’s continued resilience in safely navigating COVID-19 while continuing to provide the essential products and services the world needs. Our fourth-quarter and full-year results reflect the team’s agility in a challenging environment while executing our strategy for long-term profitable growth. We achieved the adjusted operating margin established during our 2019 Investor Day while continuing to invest in products and services. We are well-positioned for the future and will emerge from the pandemic as an even stronger company.”
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Certain statements in this press release relate to future events and expectations and are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “believe,” “estimate,” “will be,” “will,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “forecast,” “target,” “guide,” “project,” “intend,” “could,” “should” or other similar words or expressions often identify forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our outlook, projections, forecasts or trend descriptions. These statements do not guarantee future performance and speak only as of the date they are made, and we do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.
Caterpillar’s actual results may differ materially from those described or implied in our forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) global and regional economic conditions and economic conditions in the industries we serve; (ii) commodity price changes, material price increases, fluctuations in demand for our products or significant shortages of material; (iii) government monetary or fiscal policies; (iv) political and economic risks, commercial instability and events beyond our control in the countries in which we operate; (v) international trade policies and their impact on demand for our products and our competitive position, including the imposition of new tariffs or changes in existing tariff rates; (vi) our ability to develop, produce and market quality products that meet our customers’ needs; (vii) the impact of the highly competitive environment in which we operate on our sales and pricing; (viii) information technology security threats and computer crime; (ix) inventory management decisions and sourcing practices of our dealers and our OEM customers; (x) a failure to realize, or a delay in realizing, all of the anticipated benefits of our acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; (xi) union disputes or other employee relations issues; (xii) adverse effects of unexpected events; (xiii) disruptions or volatility in global financial markets limiting our sources of liquidity or the liquidity of our customers, dealers and suppliers; (xiv) failure to maintain our credit ratings and potential resulting increases to our cost of borrowing and adverse effects on our cost of funds, liquidity, competitive position and access to capital markets; (xv) our Financial Products segment’s risks associated with the financial services industry; (xvi) changes in interest rates or market liquidity conditions; (xvii) an increase in delinquencies, repossessions or net losses of Cat Financial’s customers; (xviii) currency fluctuations; (xix) our or Cat Financial’s compliance with financial and other restrictive covenants in debt agreements; (xx) increased pension plan funding obligations; (xxi) alleged or actual violations of trade or anti-corruption laws and regulations; (xxii) additional tax expense or exposure, including the impact of U.S. tax reform; (xxiii) significant legal proceedings, claims, lawsuits or government investigations; (xxiv) new regulations or changes in financial services regulations; (xxv) compliance with environmental laws and regulations; (xxvi) the duration and geographic spread of, business disruptions caused by, and the overall global economic impact of, the COVID-19 pandemic; and (xxvii) other factors described in more detail in Caterpillar’s Forms 10-Q, 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES
The following definitions are provided for the non-GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP financial measures have no standardized meaning prescribed by U.S. GAAP and therefore are unlikely to be comparable to the calculation of similar measures for other companies. Management does not intend these items to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the related GAAP measures.
Adjusted Profit Per Share
The company believes it is important to separately quantify the profit impact of three significant items in order for the company’s results to be meaningful to readers. These items consist of (i) pension and OPEB mark-to-market losses resulting from plan remeasurements, (ii) restructuring costs, which were incurred to generate longer-term benefits, and (iii) U.S. tax reform impact in 2019. The company does not consider these items indicative of earnings from ongoing business activities and believes the non-GAAP measure provides investors with useful perspective on underlying business results and trends and aids with assessing the company’s period-over-period results.
For more details, see the appendix in the full press release.