Retail sales of construction and mining equipment at Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) remains below year-ago levels, but the pace of the decline is slowing. Global machine sales are down 7% for the three-month period ending in May, compared with the same period in 2012, but that is better than the decline of 9% at the end of April and 11% at the end of March.
North American sales are down 16% in May, slightly better than the 18% drop in April, but worse than the 11% decline in March. Sales also are improving in Asia/Pacific.
Latin America remains the company’s only bright spot, with sales up 22% in May following a 28% rise in April and a 12% rise in March.
Caterpillar lowered its fiscal year revenue and earnings outlook in April to a revenue range of $57 billion to $61 billion and earnings per share (EPS) of around $7.00. The company’s previous outlook had called for revenues of $60 billion to $68 billion and EPS in the range of $7.00 to $9.00. The company’s outlook for mining equipment sales is down about 50% compared with 2012 sales.
Shares of Caterpillar are down about 1.3% in the late morning today, at $83.18 in a 52-week range of $78.25 to $99.70.