Caterpillar Inc. announced third-quarter 2018 sales and revenues of $13.5 billion, compared with $11.4 billion in the third quarter of 2017, an 18 percent increase. Third-quarter 2018 profit per share of $2.88 was a third-quarter record. Profit per share was $1.77 in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding restructuring costs and a net tax benefit to adjust deferred tax balances, adjusted profit per share in the third quarter of 2018 was $2.86, compared with third-quarter 2017 adjusted profit per share of $1.95.
During the third quarter of 2018, Machinery, Energy & Transportation (ME&T) operating cash flow was $848 million. In the quarter, the company deployed significant capital, including a discretionary pension contribution of $1.0 billion, the repurchase of $750 million of Caterpillar common stock and a dividend payment of $511 million. The enterprise cash balance at the end of the third quarter of 2018 was $8.0 billion.
"This was the best third-quarter profit per share in our company's history," said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. "Our global team continues to do excellent work focusing on our customers' success and executing our strategy for profitable growth."
The company's 2018 profit per share outlook is a range of $10.65 to $11.65. The company is maintaining the adjusted profit per share outlook range of $11.00 to $12.00. The current profit per share outlook now includes a net tax benefit of $95 million that was recorded in the third quarter of 2018 to adjust deferred tax balances. The outlook for adjusted profit per share excludes restructuring costs of about $400 million and the net tax benefit.
Most end markets continue to improve. Order rates and backlog remain healthy. In the fourth quarter, price realization, operational excellence and cost discipline are expected to more than offset higher material and freight costs, including tariffs.
The outlook does not include a mark-to-market gain or loss for remeasurement of pension and other postemployment benefit (OPEB) plans and any additional changes to provisional estimates recorded in 2017 for U.S. tax reform.
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