Caterpillar and international product markets in capital goods

| February 16, 2014

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Despite strong performance and profitability in recent years, the most recent results for Caterpillar Inc. have been difficult, showing sales decline in mining and construction equipment. The CEO, Doug Oberhelman, affirms that the company has been and will continue to cut costs and reduce capital expenditures, and asserts that sales in China are strong and that Caterpillar is doing better than competitors. He also draws attention to the strong performance in Caterpillar’s Power Systems segment. (see http://www.caterpillar.com/investors/financial-information/quarterly-results/caterpillar-inc)
Produce a report, which analyses Caterpillar’s profitability and performance from 2004 to the present. Analyse the advantages and risks of operating in several geographical markets in several business areas using a PESTEL framework. In your view, is Caterpillar’s management right to be cautiously optimistic about 2014? What are the limitations of PESTEL for strategic analysis?
You must demonstrate the skills of accessing, selecting and using evidence to make your points.
You are required to write a 6 page report (including exhibits/appendices, but excluding your list of sources and references).
As a rough guide, approximately 2-3 pages should be devoted to exhibits/tables – leaving approx. 3-4 pages of prose.
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