Global automotive engine maker Cummins Inc. (CMI) - Get Cummins Inc. Report on Wednesday reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, and forecast 2019 sales below analysts' current forecasts.

Cummins said it earned $554 million, or $3.48 a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $503 million, or $3.03 a share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected earnings of $3.82 a share. The figures are adjusted for non-recurring items. Revenue for fourth quarter was $6.1 billion, an increase of 12% from the fourth quarter of 2017.

Cummins said fourth-quarter sales in North America improved by 17%, while international revenue increased by 6%. However, for 2019, Cummins said it now expects sales growth to be flat to up 4%, below analysts' expectations. 

Analysts have been watching it and other auto parts makers closely amid ongoing trade tensions with China, as well as slowing global economic growth, which could reduce demand for Cummins' products and services. 

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Cummins shares closed down 0.3% to $149.35 in Wednesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Columbus, Indiana-based Cummins designs, manufactures, distributes and services diesel and natural gas engines as well as hybrid and electric platforms and related technologies, including battery systems and fuel systems, filtration and emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.