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How Caterpillar Is Weathering the Global Downturn

January 28, 2016

A Caterpillar Inc. excavator sits outside Altorfer Cat in East Peoria, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Caterpillar Inc. is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Photographer:  Daniel Acker/BloombergA Caterpillar Inc. excavator sits outside Altorfer Cat in East Peoria, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Caterpillar Inc. is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Photographer:  Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
A Caterpillar excavatorPhotograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg Finance via Getty Images

Caterpillar (CAT) on Thursday reported results that showed a continued slump across most of its businesses, and warned 2016 would be another grim year, but forecast earnings above estimates for 2016, sending its stock up about 2%.

The world’s largest construction and mining equipment maker has been restructuring aggressively to cut costs in the face of slower growth in markets like China and Brazil and plunging commodity prices that have hurt demand for its products.

“Cost management, restructuring actions, and operational execution are helping the company while sales and revenues remain under pressure from weak commodity prices and slowing economic growth in developing countries,” CEO Doug Oberhelman said.

The Peoria, Illinois-based company said its outlook for 2016 “does not anticipate improvement in world economic growth or commodity prices.”

Caterpillar sees 2016 revenue falling within a range of $40 billion to $44 billion. The midpoint of that range, $42 billion, is around $3.5 billion below its forecast in October.

Caterpillar expects full-year 2016 earnings of $4.00 per share, excluding restructuring costs, compared with the average estimate of $3.48 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Including restructuring costs, Caterpillar said it expects 2016 EPS of $3.50 per share.

Full-year earnings per share in 2015 totaled $4.64.

 

Caterpillar said in September it would cut as many as 10,000 jobs through 2018. In October, the company raised its estimate for restructuring costs to $800 million in 2015 from $250 million.

The company said on Thursday that 2015 restructuring costs were higher than expected at $908 million. Caterpillar anticipates further restructuring costs of about $400 million in 2016.

Total sales and revenue fell to $11.03 billion in the fourth quarter, from $14.24 billion a year earlier.

Caterpillar reported a quarterly loss of $87 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with a profit of $757 million, or $1.23 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs, Caterpillar earned 74 cents per share, compared with the average analyst estimate of 69 cents per share.