Caterpillar quarterly profit declines on weak equipment sales

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[April 22, 2016]  (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc. lowered its 2016 sales and earnings outlook and posted a lower first-quarter net profit on Friday as revenues declined in the company's construction, oil and gas, mining and rail business segments.

The company said it expects 2016 sales in a range of $40 billion to $42 billion against a previously forecast $40 billion to $44 billion.

Caterpillar now expects 2016 earnings per share at $3.00, or $3.70 per share excluding restructuring costs. The previous forecast was $3.50 per share, or $4.00 per share excluding restructuring costs.

The world’s largest heavy machinery manufacturer reported a net income of $494 million, or 67 cents per share in the first quarter, down from a revised $1.70 billion, or $2.07 a share, a year ago. Analysts had expected earnings per share of 68 cents.

Including restructuring costs, Caterpillar earned 46 cents per share, compared with a revised $2.03 a year earlier. Revenue fell to $9.46 billion from $12.7 billion a year ago.

(Reporting by Meredith Davis; Editing by W Simon)

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