Caterpillar's sales down 16% in Q2

Caterpillar reported a drop in sales of 16%, year-over-year. Meanwhile, profit was down 43.5% at $960 million, compared to $1.7 billion in the second quarter of 2012.

The company also cut its full-year forecast to $56 billion to $58 billion in revenue, down from its previous expected range of $57 billion to $61 billion. End-user demand remained generally unchanged, but the company reported greater reductions in dealer machine inventory in the second quarter than it had previously anticipated, with greater reductions expected to continue throughout the rest of 2013.

“Even though our sales and profit in the second quarter are down from last year, I’m pleased with how our team has performed," said chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. "We’ve taken action to respond to the economic environment we find ourselves in, and operationally, the team has done a great job. We experienced headwinds during the quarter, and while we had a positive $135 million gain related to the Siwei settlement, it was more than offset by currency translation and hedging losses, an additional $1 billion of dealer machine inventory reductions and a decline of $1.2 billion in our own inventory. While these were significantly negative to profit in the second quarter, our outlook doesn’t reflect additional currency losses or reductions in our inventory during the second half of 2013. As a result, we expect profit to improve in the second half of the year."

Machine sales were down 9% in July and 8% in June. Power Systems retail sales were unchanged in July.

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