Caterpillar Earnings: Profit Propels Shares

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter. Caterpillar offers construction and mining equipment as well as diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

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Caterpillar Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for Caterpillar Inc. rose to $1.7 billion ($2.54 per share) vs. $1.14 billion ($1.71 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 48.9% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 4.6% to $16.45 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Caterpillar Inc. beat the mean analyst estimate of $2.27 per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $17.11 billion.

Quoting Management: “Last quarter and then again a month ago at MINExpo, we discussed economic and geopolitical headwinds facing the world, and we are certainly continuing to see the impact of those uncertainties in our business,” said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman. “Even so, we had a record third quarter, and our entire organization is focused on finishing 2012 as the best year for sales and profit in our history,” Oberhelman added. “Despite the turbulence in the global economy, we continue to track toward our goals on cost control, margin improvement, product quality, safety and better product availability for our customers.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen its net income increase for three consecutive quarters. In the second quarter, net income rose 67.4% and in the first quarter, the figure rose 29.5%.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 24 cents in the second quarter, by 59 cents in the first quarter, and by 34 cents in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has increased for four consecutive quarters. Revenue increased 22.1% to $17.37 billion in the second quarter. The figure rose 23.4% in the first quarter from the year earlier and climbed 34.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

Looking Forward: Over the past ninety days, the average estimate for the fourth quarter has fallen from $2.48 per share to $2.39, indicating that analysts are growing pessisimistic about the company’s performance next quarter. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved down from $9.73 a share to $9.54 over the last sixty days.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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