Rank: 46 (Previous rank: 58)
CEO: Douglas R. Oberhelman
Was this company a 2011 top stock?
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How did it play in Peoria? Very, very well. At least for heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, which is based in the bucolic Illinois city. It saw full-year, record sales of about $60 billion, topping the previous high in 2008. The company is expecting to pull in some $70 billion this year, even though U.S. construction activity remains depressed and economies in Europe, China and Brazil have slowed. Much of the company's growth is being fueled by three major acquisitions including mining equipment manufacturer Bucyrus as well as diesel engine powerhouses EMD and MWM. Going forward, to protect its margins, Caterpillar will have to juggle its global inventory as demand fluctuates.
Industry: Construction and Farm Machinery