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29 January 2016

Caterpillar’s Q4 2015 results illustrate tough market

First published29/01/2016
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Caterpillar Crawler Tractor

Caterpillar total sales and revenue fell to US$11.03 billion in Q4 2015, from $14.24 billion a year earlier.

The world’s biggest construction and mining equipment manufacturer posted 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.

The US giant has been restructuring aggressively to cut costs because of slower growth in markets including China and Brazil and plunging commodity prices that have hurt customer demand.

Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman has warned that 2016 would be another grim year, but believes the company’s focus on costs was paying off.

"Cost management, restructuring actions ... are helping the company while sales and revenues remain under pressure from weak commodity prices and slowing economic growth in developing countries," said Oberhelman. "We are benefiting now and expect to even more in the future when markets rebound."

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 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 2015.

The company said in September 2015 it would cut as many as 10,000 jobs until 2018.

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

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