Caterpillar reported a quarterly profit that soared past Wall Street expectations on Thursday, with the CEO attributing that strength to internal operational efficiencies such as lean manufacturing and cost reductions from the supply base.
Shortly after the earnings release, Cat boss Doug Oberhelman told CNBC that "in a flat sales environment for two years" his team focused on operational improvements, "day-to-day blocking and tackling."
The heavy equipment giant posted third-quarter earnings of $1.72 a share, compared to $1.45 in the year-earlier period. Revenue for the quarter came in at $13.55 billion, against the comparable year-ago number of $13.42 billion.
"We've had steady sales. Steady production through our lines," Oberhelman said on "Squawk Box."
Analysts had expected earnings of $1.36 a share on $13.19 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.