For more than 75 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been building the world's infrastructure, and in partnership with Caterpillar dealers, is driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. A Fortune 100 company, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company is a technology leader in construction, transportation, mining, energy, logistics, electronics, financing and electric power generation.
In 2004, Caterpillar posted sales and revenues of $30.25 billion and a profit of $2.03 billion. Approximately half of all sales were to customers outside of the United States, maintaining Caterpillar's position as a global supplier and leading U.S. exporter.
Caterpillar products and components are manufactured in 49 U.S. facilities and in 59 other locations in 22 countries around the globe.
Caterpillar invested nearly $928 million in research and technology in 2004. Worldwide, our employees earned more than 3900 patents since 1997.
Caterpillar's global dealer network provides a key competitive edge - customers deal with people they know and trust. Almost all dealerships are independent and locally owned. Many have relationships with their customers that span at least two generations. Cat dealers serve equipment, service and financing needs for customers in more than 200 countries. Rental services are offered through more than 1,400 outlets worldwide.
Caterpillar's reputation for integrity is a fundamental part of our heritage and one of our most valuable assets. Visit the Corporate Governance section for a reliable source for the corporate governance practices our Board has in place to ensure we are building on Caterpillar's sound reputation. As an industry leader, we recognize our responsibility to help restore confidence in Corporate America, and we consider ourselves a leader for corporate governance practices.
Caterpillar is financially strong - able to fund product programs for future customer needs, provide financing for dealers and customers, and reward its shareholders. We continue to generate significant net free cash flow enabling investments in strategic growth opportunities.
Caterpillar is committed to generating attractive returns for our shareholders. Strategic growth initiatives involving our machine, engine and service businesses are expected to drive attractive stockholder returns for years to come. Caterpillar's quarterly dividend has grown nearly 1000% in the last decade on split-adjusted basis. In addition, we have repurchased approximately 77 million shares since June of 1995.