Caterpillar 4Q profit rises despite sales decline

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FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo construction equipment made by Caterpillar are readied for export to Asia at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. Caterpillar Inc. reports financial results Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

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Caterpillar put a lit on costs in the fourth quarter, pushing profits higher despite an 8% decline in revenue.

The strong profits, however, were overshadowed by an uncertain take on the year ahead with global growth slowing.

Shares slipped 1.6% before the opening bell Friday.

Net income rose 5% to $1.1 billion, or $1.97 per share, in the quarter ended in December, the manufacturer said Friday. Adjusted income totaled $2.63 per share, in line with Wall Street expectations, according to a survey by FactSet.

Sales declined to $13.14 billion, reflecting slower activity in North and Latin America along with Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

For 2020, the Deerfield, Illinois, company expects to earn $8.50 to $10 per share, shy of the $10.60 that industry analysts were looking for.

“We expect continued global economic uncertainty to pressure sales to users in 2020 and cause dealers to further

reduce inventories,” said CEO and Chairman Jim Umpleby. “We have improved our lead times and remain prepared to respond quickly to

any positive or negative changes in customer demand.”

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