Caterpillar Reports Drop in Machine Sales Amid Sluggish Global Economy

August retail machine sales fall 20% globally on a rolling-three month basis, matching the drop in July.
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Caterpillar  (CAT) - Get Report shares fell Tuesday after the construction and mining equipment manufacturer reported a decline in machine sales as the slumping global economy crimps demand.

Caterpillar shares traded at $150.46, down 1.99%, on Tuesday. The stock has eased 2% year to date.

August retail machine sales fell 20% globally on a rolling-three month basis, matching the drop in July, Caterpillar said. Sales slid 23% in June.

Retail sales to resource industries sank 27% globally on a rolling three-month basis in August, compared with a 19% fall in July and a 21% decrease in June.

Retail sales to construction industries for Caterpillar fell 17% in August, compared with 20% in July and 23% in June. Energy and transportation retail sales fell 17% in August, 16% in July and 18% in June.

Morningstar analyst Scott Pope offered some optimistic comments about the company after its second-quarter earnings report in July. Caterpillar beat Wall Street estimates for adjusted earnings per share and revenue.

“We believe Caterpillar’s strategy of manufacturing premium equipment with lowest total cost of ownership equipment is optimal regardless of economic conditions,” the analyst wrote in a commentary.

“The recent pandemic highlighted unanticipated benefits of Caterpillar’s leading autonomous and telematics solutions that reduce person-to-person interaction, which could lead to share gains in the long run. Moreover, increased gold and copper prices could boost adoption of Caterpillar's autonomous mining solutions, as these miners have historically been strong adopters of such technology,” Pope added.

Pope put fair value for shares of Caterpillar at $148.