Caterpillar Manages Turnaround in Quarter

Caterpillar Tractor reported a $131-million profit for the third quarter, in sharp contrast to a $92-million loss a year earlier, putting the company in the black for the year to date. But the firm said the quarterly profit had more to do with tax credits and various one-time gains than with any big improvements in the company's business.

On a pretax basis that more accurately reflects operating results, the Peoria, Ill., farm equipment manufacturer said it earned $28 million for the quarter, versus a loss of $69 million in the same period last year. Sales climbed 6% to $1.81 billion.

Caterpillar credited the improvement to modestly higher sales and the effects of continued cost reductions. The company said that it will be profitable for the year and that sales will improve further in the current quarter.

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