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Caterpillar, the massive industrial-equipment supplier, beat on earnings for its fourth quarter but once again lowered its outlook for the year ahead.
The company on Thursday reported earnings of $0.83 a share for the fourth quarter, better than analysts’ projections of $0.66 a share. Revenue came in slightly below expectations at $9.57 billion; analysts had been looking for $9.81 billion.
Once again, however, Caterpillar’s outlook was worse than projected, with the company now expecting full-year 2017 earnings per share of $2.90 against analysts’ expectations of $3.08.
The company also moved down the midpoint for its expected 2017 sales range from $38 billion because of a stronger US dollar.
“Our expectation for sales and revenues in 2017 are now slightly lower due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar over the past two months, and as a result, our current outlook for sales and revenues in 2017 is a range of $36 billion to $39 billion with a midpoint of $37.5 billion,” a press release from Caterpillar said.
CEO Jim Umpleby also painted a dour picture of the global economic outlook, a view the company has had for the past few quarters.
“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,” Umpleby said.
Additionally, the company does not expect to see any meaningful business from a Trump infrastructure bill until 2018.
“Prospects for tax reform and an infrastructure spending bill in the United States are encouraging,” a release from the company said. “While these initiatives would likely be a solid positive for many of our businesses, we would not expect to begin to see meaningful effects of these changes until sometime in 2018.”
Following the announcement, Caterpillar’s stock was down slightly in premarket trading. Shares were trading at $97.50 as of 7:50 a.m. ET, a fall of 0.66% from Wednesday’s close.