Caterpillar Earnings Show Lower Revenues, Trimmed Outlook

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Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results before markets opened Thursday morning. For the quarter, the heavy equipment firm posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.83 on revenues of $9.57 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.83 on revenues of $11.03 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $0.66 and $9.84 billion in revenues.

For the full year, the company reported adjusted EPS of $3.42 and revenues of $38.5 billion, compared with 2015 EPS of $5.35 and revenues of $47 billion. Analysts had forecast EPS of $3.26 and revenues of $38.87 billion.

On a GAAP basis, Caterpillar posted a net loss of $1.35 billion in the fourth quarter, including a $395 restructuring charge, a $985 million mark-to-market charge and a $595 million goodwill impairment charge. Adjusted profit for the quarter totaled $627 million.

For the full year, restructuring charges totaled $1.02 billion, mark-to-market losses totaled $985 million and goodwill impairment totaled $595 million. Adjusted annual profit totaled $2.74 billion.

Caterpillar has lowered its earlier 2017 forecast to account for a strengthening of the U.S. dollar. The company now expects full-year revenues of $36 billion to $39 billion ($37.5 billion at the midpoint of the range) and profit per share of $2.90, excluding restructuring costs of about $500 million.

Analysts had forecast 2017 EPS at $3.04 and revenues of $37.99 billion. For the first quarter, analysts are looking for EPS of $0.62 on revenues of $8.95 billion.

CEO Jim Umpleby said:

Our results for the fourth quarter, while slightly better than expected, continued to reflect pressure in many of our end markets from weak economic conditions around much of the world. Our team did a great job in the quarter, as they have all year, aligning our cost structure with current demand while preserving capacity for the future. I’m confident we are focusing on the right areas: controlling costs, maintaining a strong balance sheet and investing in the key areas important to our future. … We continue to execute in a challenging economic environment and are focused on improving operating margins, profitability and shareholder returns. While we see signs of positive activity in some of our key end markets, the overall economic environment remains challenging

Caterpillar’s shares were down about 1.3% in premarket trading, at $96.92 in a 52-week range of $58.57 to $98.59. The high was posted on Wednesday. The 12-month consensus analyst price target was $90.07 ahead of this morning’s report.