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Caterpillar says sales growth continued in July

PEORIA | Caterpillar says global sales of its heavy equipment grew 35 percent in July even though last year’s numbers were strong.

The world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment provided an update on sales Thursday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the same period last year, Caterpillar reported a 32 percent increase in sales.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Stephen Volkmann said in a research note the new figures suggest Caterpillar’s profits will be stronger than expected.

Caterpillar said the strongest regions for equipment sales in July were Latin America and Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Those regions reported sales increases of more than 50 percent.

Caterpillar’s sales figures are considered an indicator of the health of the economy, so they are watched closely.


Kerkorian sells 20M shares of MGM Resorts

LOS ANGELES | Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian is selling 20 million shares of MGM Resorts International for about $214.9 million, cutting his stake in the casino operator to 22.8 percent.

MGM Resorts said in a regulatory filing Thursday that Mr. Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. investment firm sold about 15 percent of its shares in the company for about $10.74 each on Wednesday.

The transaction is expected to be completed Aug. 23.

Mr. Kerkorian was the company’s majority owner as recently as 2009 and remains its largest shareholder with 111.2 million shares. Tracinda said it continues to believe MGM Resorts is a good investment.

MGM Resorts shares fell $1.40, or 12.1 percent, to $10.14 in afternoon trading as the overall market fell.

The company owns casinos in Las Vegas, Macau, China, and around the world.