Oct. 24 - Caterpillar, the world's largest heavy machinery manufacturer, far exceeded third-quarter analysts’ forecasts as world demand for its products stay strong despite several risks facing the global economy. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Caterpillar kicks off a busy week for earnings reports. The heavy duty equipment maker easily beat third quarter forecasts with revenues hitting a record of $15.7 billion. The bulk of those sales came from dealers who are rebuilding their inventory of Caterpillar equipment. The world's largest heavy machinery manufacturer is considered a global economic bellwether. In that regard, Caterpillar is a bit optimistic. CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a statement: "Although there is a good deal of economic and political uncertainty in the world, we are not seeing it much in our business at this point." But Caterpillar is not totally immune from what's happening in the global economy. China is trying to engineer a cool down to prevent its economy from overheating, there's mixed numbers from the world's developed economies, and of course the impact of Europe's debt crisis is also a risk, according to analysts. Caterpillar, however, believes it can navigate through those challenges. The earth-moving equipment maker says full-year profit and sales for next year will come in at the top end of its previously given range because of strong demand. Conway Gittens, Reuters