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Caterpillar Earnings Surprise, Shares Rise

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Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), the producer of heavy manufacturing equipment, reported fourth quarter earnings that beat estimates excluding a one-time item Monday.

Shares rose in the pre-market on the release on the beat and on the company's guidance for future earnings.

For the fourth quarter of 2012, Caterpillar reported earnings per share of $1.04, lower than the $2.32 earnings per share of the same period a year ago and below estimates of $1.70 per share.

However, excluding the one-time write-down of goodwill relating to an acquisition totaling a loss of $0.87 per share, Caterpillar reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.91 which beat estimates.

Revenue in the quarter was slightly weak at $16.08 billion compared to estimates of $16.16 billion. For the full year 2012, Caterpillar reported a record earnings per share of $8.48 including the $0.87 per share write-down, up from earnings per share of $7.40 in 2011. Sales also rose 10 percent in 2012 from 2011 to a record $65.875 billion.

Caterpillar lowered guidance slightly for full-year 2013 but guidance was still well within the range of Wall Street estimates. The company cut 2013 guidance forecasts for earnings per share to $7 to $9 compared to forecasts of earnings per share of $8.54. Revenue guidance was also cut to between $60 and $68 billion compared to estimates of $65.2 billion in revenue.

In the press release, Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said, "From an operational standpoint, 2012 was a very successful year with record sales and profit in a tough economic climate. Considering the weak economy in the United States, along with much of Europe in recession and China slowing, we had a solid year. Our incremental operating profit pull through was very good, we made progress adjusting inventory levels, and our quality and safety indicators continued to improve."

Oberhelman added, From an operational standpoint, 2012 was a very successful year with record sales and profit in a tough economic climate. Considering the weak economy in the United States, along with much of Europe in recession and China slowing, we had a solid year. Our incremental operating profit pull through was very good, we made progress adjusting inventory levels, and our quality and safety indicators continued to improve."

Caterpillar shares rallied on the stronger than expected earnings excluding the one-time items. Shares rose 2.48 percent pre-market to $97.95 per share. Shares were well within the 52-week range of $78.25 and $116.95.

Posted-In: China Eurozone U.S. EconomyEarnings News Guidance Dividends Pre-Market Outlook Markets Best of Benzinga

 

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