Caterpillar, Inc. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) will unveil its latest earnings on Monday, October 24, 2011. Caterpillar offers construction and mining equipment as well as diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

Caterpillar, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.59 per share, a rise of 30.3% 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 $1.80. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.59 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $6.78 per share, a rise of 61.8% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company missed estimates last quarter after beating forecasts in the prior two. In the second quarter, the company reported profit of $1.72 per share versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.77 per share. In the first quarter, the company beat estimates by 53 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 34.8% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $15 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 13 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and six rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 43.6% to $1.01 billion ($1.52 a share) from $707 million ($1.09 a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 36.7% to $14.23 billion from $10.41 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 52.2%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 62.2% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose more than fivefold in the first quarter and more than fourfold in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE), Columbus McKinnon Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCO), Manitowoc Company, Inc. (NYSE:MTW), Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI), CNH Global N.V. (NYSE:CNH), Navistar Intl. Corp. (NYSE:NAV), Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX), Joy Global (NASDAQ:JOYG) and Lindsay Corporation (NYSE:LNN).

Stock Price Performance: During July 25, 2011 to October 18, 2011, the stock price had fallen $20.94 (-19.8%) from $105.66 to $84.72. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 8, 2010 and December 16, 2010 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 4% (+$3.53) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 23, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 14.7% (-$12.74) over that span. Shares are down $7.72 (-8.4%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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