Caterpillar has said it's still committed to its China business, and that the Siwei deal is "aligned with Caterpillar's strategy to expand in the rapidly growing Chinese coal mining equipment industry."

BMO Capital Markets analyst Joel Tiss wrote on Tuesday that "while Caterpillar is a huge company and the actual size of the write off is basically immaterial, we believe the trend of aggressively chasing mining assets" and paying high prices for them in what may be the late stages of a long-term recovery could suggest an inability to spend its money effectively.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts surveyed by FactSet are expecting earnings of $1.70 per share for the fourth quarter on revenue of $15.96 billion. The estimate doesn't include the Siwei write-down.

Caterpillar has also said it will provide 2013 guidance on Monday.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Caterpillar earned $2.32 per share on revenue of $17.24 billion.

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