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Looking at Q3, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) earned $1.12 billion, a 20.26% increase from the preceding quarter. Caterpillar's sales decreased to $9.88 billion, a 1.16% change since Q2. In Q2, Caterpillar brought in $10.00 billion in sales but only earned $933.00 million.
Why ROCE Is Significant
Changes in earnings and sales indicate shifts in Caterpillar’s Return on Capital Employed, a measure of yearly pre-tax profit relative to capital employed by a business. Generally, a higher ROCE suggests successful growth of a company and is a sign of higher earnings per share in the future. In Q3, Caterpillar posted an ROCE of 0.07%.
It is important to keep in mind ROCE evaluates past performance and is not used as a predictive tool. It is a good measure of a company's recent performance, but several factors could affect earnings and sales in the near future.
ROCE is an important metric for the comparison of similar companies. A relatively high ROCE shows Caterpillar is potentially operating at a higher level of efficiency than other companies in its industry. If the company is generating high profits with its current level of capital, some of that money can be reinvested in more capital which will generally lead to higher returns and earnings per share growth.
For Caterpillar, the return on capital employed ratio shows the number of assets can actually help the company achieve higher returns, an important note investors will take into account when gauging the payoff from long-term financing strategies.
Q3 Earnings Insight
Caterpillar reported Q3 earnings per share at $1.34/share, which beat analyst predictions of $1.12/share.
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