Caterpillar Gives Up Gains After Earnings
Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) opened higher on Wednesday after the company released its fiscal second-quarter earnings and raised its profit guidance. However, the company lowered the upper range of its sales guidance. The stock briefly went negative in afternoon trading but has returned positive with a 0.32 percent gain from market open.
Caterpillar reported net income of $1.699 billion from $1.015 billion in the previous year. On a per share basis, the company earned $2.54 versus $1.52 in last year's corresponding quarter. This came in well ahead of analyst consensus estimates of $2.28.
Total sales and revenues for the quarter were up 22 percent to $17.37 billion. This also came in ahead of Wall Street revenue expectations of $17.11 billion. Excluding revenues generated by acquisitions, the company's sales were up 12 percent.
Looking ahead, Caterpillar said that it expects a full-year profit of $9.60, compared to a prior outlook of $9.50.
Revenues for the fiscal year are now expected to be between $68 billion and $70 billion. This compares to the previous outlook of $68 billion to $72 billion. Currently, Wall Street analysts have consensus earnings per share estimates of $9.54 on revenues of $69.52 billion for the fiscal year.
The action in the stock is likely due to the lower revenue guidance range as well as continued negative sentiment surrounding the name. Year-to-date, Caterpillar has fallen almost 11 percent and is sitting near new lows for 2012.
In recent months, the stock has been making a series of lower lows and lower highs, a bearish technical pattern. Caterpillar is seen as one of the most important cyclical stocks in gauging the health of the global economy.
Fears surrounding the stock center on the European debt crisis, with many European Union countries already experiencing recessions as well as worries about a hard landing in China.
The stock opened the session right at the 50-day moving average around $85.00. The strong rejection of price at this level suggests that the 50-day could continue to be a resistance point in the name.
A clean break of this level to the upside, could potentially be a buy point if the stock is able to recover. Currently, the stock is trading around 0.54 percent above its opening price.
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