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Cummins posts 7 percent sales gain

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Cummins Inc., the Columbus-based engine maker, showed a 7 percent sales gain in the fourth quarter of 2013, but revenue and earnings for the full year still fell short of the company's performance in 2012.

The company reported its fourth-quarter and full-year revenue and earnings early this morning.

Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger said the company expects sales to increase between 4 percent and 8 percent in 2014, and earnings this year should beat that pace. The company also indicated it will maintain a strong dividend for shareholders, saying in a press release that it intends to return at least 50 percent of cash from operations to shareholders.

Fourth-quarter revenue hit $4.6 billion for the final three months last year, up 7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Cummins' strongest markets geographically were North America, China and Brazil. Weak spots internationally included Mexico, India and Australia.

Full-year revenue was $17.3 billion, a slight $33 million decrease from 2012 performance. North American sales were up 3 percent for the year, but international sales declined 4 percent overall, the company said.

"We faced weak demand in important regions and end markets in 2013," said Linebarger. "Revenues for the year ended flat with 2012 as strong growth in the components business, market share gains in the North American medium-duty truck market and distributor acquisitions offset weakness in global mining markets, international power generation and the North American heavy-duty truck market."

Linebarger noted that Cummins increased shareholder dividends in 2013 to a total of $2.25 per share, up from $1.80 per share the year before.

For more on this story, see Friday's Republic.

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