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Caterpillar 1Q Profit Shrank; Cuts 2013 Outlook

Caterpillar's net income dropped to $882 million, or $1.31 per share, for the latest quarter. Revenue fell 17 percent to $13.21 billion from $15.98 billion a year ago. Both missed analyst expectations. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting a profit of $1.36 per share on revenue of $13.79 billion.

Profits fell in each of its big divisions. Operating profit fell 59 percent to $477 million in resource industries, which includes mining. It was down 61 percent to $239 million for construction equipment, and down 26 percent to $598 million in power systems, which makes items including large electrical generators and locomotive engines.

It also cut its 2013 guidance. Caterpillar now expects to earn $7 per share, down from $7 to $9 previously. It forecast revenue of $57 billion to $61 billion, down from $60 billion to $68 billion. Analysts had been expecting 2013 profit of $7.67 per share on revenue of $62.48 billion.

The reduced outlook wasn't entirely unexpected and Oberhelman did note some bright spots. Sales in China rose compared to a year ago. And the company is "becoming more optimistic" on the U.S. housing sector.

Caterpillar also announced that it plans to buy back shares â¿¿ about $1 billion worth â¿¿ for the first time since 2008, following an 11 percent drop in the price this year. That helped Caterpillar shares rise on Monday. They gained $2.28, or 2.8 percent, to close at $82.71.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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