Jim Cramer says he's worried about Caterpillar's (CAT) - Get Report dividend, even as the company reported earnings that beat Wall Street's estimates. However, the company also reported revenue that fell short of expectations and offered a cautious outlook for 2016. Cramer's troubled about what lies ahead.
"I am concerned about the dividend," he said. "I do think capital expenditures will be down across the board worldwide."
Caterpillar reported fourth-quarter earnings of 74-cents a share, compared with $1.35 in the previous year. Revenue slid to $11.03 billion, down from $14.24 billion a year ago.
"My hat is off to them," said Cramer, who is portfolio manager of Action Alerts PLUS. "I didn't think they'd be able to maintain just the kind of decline in revenue that they did. It was a better quarter than I thought."
Caterpillar restructured operations in 2015, and the company's CEO attributed those actions -- and cost management -- to helping the company's results. Still, Cramer said Caterpillar's report is indicative of how external factors can weigh on companies in the U.S.
"Caterpillar's a direct read on oil and China, I think, and not as much on construction."
Caterpillar said oil prices had a "substantial negative impact on the portion of energy & transportation that supports oil drilling and well servicing," with new order rates in 2015 down a whopping 90%.
Caterpillar offered investors a blunt assessment of 2016, stating "the outlook for 2016 sales and revenue does not anticipate improvement in world economic growth or commodity prices." The company forecast sales and revenue for the year to be in the range of $40 billion to $44 billion, which is a decline from a preliminary outlook the company offered in May.
Caterpillar stock, which fell more than 20% in the past six months, was trading higher midday Thursday.