Caterpillar misses big on earnings and guidance


Caterpillar reported fourth-quarter earnings Monday morning that missed Wall Street expectations, sending shares down nearly 6% ahead of the opening bell.

The industrial giant reported adjusted earnings per share of $US2.55 on revenue of $US14.34 billion. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected adjusted EPS of $US2.99 on revenue of $US14.36 billion.

Caterpillar expects full-year profits of $US11.75 to $US12.75 a share, compared to analysts’ anticipated guidance of $US12.72 per share, and said its outlook assumes “modest” sales growth.

“Our outlook assumes a modest sales increase based on the fundamentals of our diverse end markets as well as the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment,” said Jim Umpleby, chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We will continue to focus on operational excellence, including cost discipline, while investing in expanded offerings and services to drive long-term profitable growth.”

Its “modest” outlook could be considered a warning for broader economic health at a time when calls for a slowdown are in full swing. The company’s activity is considered a global proxy for construction activity given its vast usage around the world.

Caterpillar was up 8% this year through Friday, but was down 16% in the past year.

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