Caterpillar disappoints badly
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) today reported its first quarterly loss in 16 years. The heavy equipment manufacturer said the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression will cause earnings to be weaker than expected.
The first-quarter loss of $112 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a profit of $922 million, or $1.45, in the first quarter of 2008. Revenue dropped 22 percent to $9.22 billion. Excluding one-time items, profit was 39 cents, beating the 20-cent consensus forecasts of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The guidance for the Illinois company, though, was simply dreadful.