Caterpillar Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Monday, January 28, 2013. Caterpillar offers construction and mining equipment as well as diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

Caterpillar Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $1.70 per share, a decline of 26.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.77. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from $1.72 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 17% versus last year to $9.14.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 6 cents, reporting profit of $2.27 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $2.21 per share.

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A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 48.9% to $1.7 billion ($2.54 a share) from $1.14 billion ($1.71 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 4.6% to $16.45 billion from $15.72 billion.

Here’s how¬†Caterpillar¬†traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 6.3% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $16.16 billion.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with 11 of 20 analysts surveyed giving that rating.

Key Stats:

This upcoming earnings announcement will be a chance to build on positive earnings momentum over the last three quarters. Net income rose 29.5% in the first quarter and 67.4% in the second quarter before increasing again in the third quarter.

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 34.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 23.4% in the first quarter and 22.1% in the second quarter before increasing again in the third quarter.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 1.41 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, for every dollar the company owes in the short term, it has that figure available in assets that can be converted to cash in the short term. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 1.42 in the second quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 1.5% to $31.75 billion while assets rose 0.8% to $44.64 billion.

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