Caterpillar earnings slip, cites weakness in China and Brazil

October 22, 2015 08:45 AM

Caterpillar Inc on Thursday reported lower quarterly profits, cut its 2015 earnings forecast and warned its revenue would tumble in 2016, weakened by slower economic growth in China and a recession in Brazil.

The company said it saw full-year 2015 earnings per share at $3.70, down from the $4.70 seen in the second quarter. Excluding restructuring costs, it lowered its full-year EPS forecast to $4.60 from $5.00 seen in the second quarter.

Shares of the world's largest construction and mining company fell more than 2 % in premarket trading after it forecast its sales falling by 5 % in 2016, its fourth straight year of decline.

For the third quarter, it reported net income of $368 million, or 62 cents per share, down from $1.02 billion, or $1.63 per share diluted, a year earlier.

Earnings per share excluding restructuring costs were at 75 cents, compared with $1.72 in the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of 78 cents a share.

It added its third-quarter revenue was at $11 billion, down from about $13.5 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts had expected $11.25 billion.

"The environment remains extremely challenging for most of the key industries we serve, with sales and revenues down 19 % from the third quarter last year," said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman in a written statement.

Amid weakness in the industry, the company said it had too much capacity and thus its planned capital expenditure in 2016 would be less than half than in 2012.

The company kept its 2015 full year revenue outlook of about $48 billion, which was previously revised down from $49 billion in September when the company announced a large global restructuring that included 10,000 job cuts through 2018 and worldwide facility closures.

Analysts had estimated full year 2015 revenue to at $47.79 billion.

Restructuring costs were estimated to be $800 million in 2015, up from a previous forecast $250 million as a result of the company's reorganization plan.

Regarding construction, the company said it has hit by weak economies in the Asia/Pacific region and the former Soviet Union as well as political unrest and low oil prices in the Middle East.

Weakness in Latin America was pronounced in Brazil, where construction equipment sales fell 60 % below that of 2014. It saw the country's recession continuing into 2016.

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