Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) announced plans to selectively align production levels with demand and resource requirements. Caterpillar has already started bringing some laid off employees back to work at various facilities, and based on current demand schedules, the company expects to return other employees to jobs as demand increases in the coming months. Approximately 550 laid-off U.S. employees have returned or will return to work before the end of 2010, including support, management and production employees.
Also, Caterpillar began notifying approximately 2,500 laid-off U.S. employees that they will be separated from the company. The company is offering a separation package for those employees. A breakdown of impacted employees by location will not be provided.
"We are pleased that signs of recovery in the global economy allow us to return a selected group of laid off employees to work," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens. "But it's important to remember that we are not close to the record-breaking demand we experienced from 2004 through 2008."
Looking forward, Caterpillar will adjust its workforce as production levels and resource requirements change. These actions may vary from business unit to business unit within the company.
Last week, Caterpillar updated its outlook for 2009 and issued a preliminary sales and revenues outlook for 2010. The company expects 2009 sales and revenues of $32 to $33 billion. The 2009 profit outlook range has improved to $1.10 to $1.30 per share compared to the previous range of $0.40 to $1.50 per share. The profit outlook includes redundancy costs of about $0.75 per share. Excluding redundancy costs, the profit forecast for 2009 is $1.85 to $2.05 per share compared to the previous range of $1.15 to $2.25 per share. Caterpillar's preliminary outlook for 2010 calls for sales and revenues to be up 10 to 25 percent from the midpoint of the 2009 outlook range.