Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

AUDIO – Staying the course at CAT — But it’s a rough row to hoe

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Caterpillar Inc Group President Ed Rapp knows that 2009 has been a tough one for his company, but he still thinks they can hit their numbers on revenue and earnings per share.

Speaking at the Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit, Rapp (who, incidentally, has been with Caterpillar for almost 30 years and is still considered something of a “youngster” there!!) said that while there are still many hurdles for the company to avoid in the short term, he thought CAT’s previous guidance was within reach.

Rapp said he remains worried about the state of the credit markets and said government efforts to stabilize banking had yet to cut the cost of borrowing for captive finance companies. But his optimism comes from the sometimes painful steps the company has made in the past few months to cut costs and realign their business thinking.

Rapp is one of a team of six executives under CEO Jim Owens who run CAT’s day-to-day operations.

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