Caterpillar Sales Dropped Last Quarter in Deepening Energy Slump

Caterpillar Reports Better-Than-Estimated Earnings

Caterpillar Inc., the world’s biggest maker of mining and construction machinery, said retail sales declined in all global regions last quarter as a demand slump in its energy-equipment business deepened.

Receipts in its energy and transportation segment fell 32 percent from a year earlier in the three months ended in December, the Peoria, Illinois-based company said in a statement Wednesday. That compares with a 29 percent decrease in the three months ended in November, marking the seventh straight month of accelerating declines. Sales of all machinery fell 16 percent last quarter, led by a 48 percent drop in mining equipment in the Asia-Pacific region.

“CAT continues to face global weakness across all of its end-markets, which we believe is driving capacity utilization down toward the low-40 percent range and will weigh heavily on 2016 profitability,” Joel Tiss, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets Corp., said in a note.

Caterpillar’s earnings and revenue have tumbled as customers in the natural resources and energy sectors rein in capital spending amid a collapse in global commodities prices.

The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results before the open of regular trading on Thursday. Profit is expected to fall 49 percent to 69 cents per share, according to the average of 20 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

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