Caterpillar delivered an outstanding performance in 2018. Profit per share was the best in company history with sales and revenues growth of 20 percent over 2017. We returned capital to shareholders through the repurchase of $3.8 billion in shares of stock and a 10 percent increase in the annual dividend. This increase marked the 25th consecutive year we have declared higher dividends to shareholders, earning us recognition as a member of the Dividend Aristocrats list. In total, we returned $5.8 billion in capital to Caterpillar shareholders. The company delivered these results due in part to the relentless execution of our enterprise strategy for profitable growth using the Operating & Execution Model with a focus on services, operational excellence and expanded offerings.
A reconciliation of adjusted profit per share to U.S. GAAP can be found in our press releases describing financial results for the fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 and fourth-quarter and full-year 2017, which are available on our website at www.caterpillar.com/earnings.
A strong U.S. economy supported higher demand for oil and gas activities, including the buildout of pipelines, non-residential building construction and infrastructure activities. Asia/Pacific sales were also higher in several countries in the region, most significantly in China, stemming from increased building construction and infrastructure investment.
Increased mining production and commodity prices supported increased capital expenditures for mining customers and reinvestment in equipment. Positive global economic growth drove increased sales for heavy construction, quarry and aggregate equipment.
Growth in North American oil and gas drove higher demand for well servicing and gas compression applications. Power generation continued positive momentum. Transportation sales also increased due to higher rail services from acquisitions and increased rail traffic.
The graph shows the cumulative shareholder return assuming an investment
of $100.00 on December 31, 2013, and reinvestment of dividends issued thereafter.