Caterpillar’s profits crawl as demand slows

 
Billy Bambrough
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Caterpillar's 1st Quarter Profit Rises 45 Percent
When commodity prices fall firms have less to spend on shiny new machines (Source: Getty)

US heavy machine maker Caterpillar has been forced to downgrade its outlook for the rest of the year due to the problems facing mining and construction industries.

Its lower guidance for the full year came alongside steep declines in second-quarter profit and revenue. Caterpillar now expects to earn $3.55 a share this year, excluding restructuring costs.

For its most recent quarter the company reported a profit of $550m (£418.5m), or 93 cents a share, down from $802m, or $1.31 a share, a year earlier. Revenue slid 16 per cent to $10.34bn.

Caterpillar has been badly buffeted by low commodity prices and weak demand, which have knocked the energy, resource, and construction industries that buy its machines.

“We’re not expecting an upturn in important industries like mining, oil and gas, and rail to happen this year,” said chief executive Doug Oberhelman.

“We’re continuing significant restructuring plans, which are designed to bring our cost structure more in line with demand while maintaining our capability to quickly serve our customers when our business recovers.”

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