Caterpiller Cuts Guidance On "Subdued Global Growth", Blames Brexit And "Turkey Turmoil"

One day after reporting another disappointing global retail sales report, posting 43 consecutive months of declining global sales...

 

... moments ago CAT reported Q2 earnings, which were modestly better than expected, with adjusted 2Q EPS of $1.09 vs est. 96c, above the highest est. of 99c on revenue of $10.34BN, also above the $10.13BN estimate.

However, the reason why the short squeeze was not triggered today is because in its earnings the company once again cut guidance, and now sees 2016 revenue of $40.0b-$40.5b, with the midpoint coming below the prior forecast of $40b-$42b, on "persistent economic risks." It also sees 2016 adj. EPS $3.55 excluding costs vs prior forecast $3.70, if still modestly above the consensus est. of $3.52. The reason, according to the company, is that "we’re not expecting an upturn in important industries like mining, oil and gas and rail to happen this year."

The company's order backlog was $11.8bn at end of 2Q, down $1.3bn from the end of 1Q with two-thirds of decrease in Construciton Industries. Finally, the company now sees 2016 restructuring costs $700m vs prior forecast $550m; as a result of even more laoffs in the second half.

Here is the company's outlook.

World economic growth remains subdued and is not sufficient to drive improvement in most of the industries and markets we serve. Commodity prices appear to have stabilized, but at low levels. Global uncertainty continues, and the recent Brexit outcome and the turmoil in Turkey add to risks, especially in Europe.

 

The outlook for 2016 that we provided with our first-quarter financial results in April expected sales and revenues in a range of $40 to $42 billion. At the midpoint of that range, profit was expected to be $3.00 per share, or $3.7 per share excluding restructuring costs. Over the past quarter, economic risks have persisted and, as a result, our current expectations for 2016 sales and revenues are closer to the bottom end of that outlook range.

 

Restructuring costs in 2016, which were expected to be about $550 million, are now forecast to be about $700 million, or about $0.80 per share. Additional workforce reductions expected in the second half of 2016 are the primary reason for the increase in restructuring costs. Sales and revenues for 2016 are expected to be in a range of $40.0 to $40.5 billion, and the profit outlook at the midpoint of the sales and revenues range is about $2.75 per share, or about $3.55 per share excluding restructuring costs. Our revised outlook for both sales and revenues and profit per share excluding restructuring costs is in line with the Thompson First Call analyst consensus.

 

“Despite a solid second quarter, we’re cautious as we enter the second half of the year. We’re not expecting an upturn in important industries like mining, oil and gas and rail to happen this year. We’re continuing significant restructuring plans, which are designed to bring our cost structure more in line with demand while maintaining our capability to quickly serve our customers when our business recovers. Once it does recover, we expect substantial incremental profit improvement, realizing the benefits of the tough actions we’re implementing now coupled with our ongoing investments in products and digital capabilities. Amidst these very challenging market conditions, our balance sheet remains strong, and our employees are delivering better performance on everything from safety, quality and cost management to machine market position. I’m inspired by our people as they’re the primary reason we’re weathering this downturn as successfully as we are,” said Oberhelman.

Still, even with the stock down we expect the BTFD hunters to emerge and to prop it quickly in the green on Oberhelmann's hopes that a "substantial incremental profit improvement" is just around the corner, and justifies the company's 22x forward P/E ratio excluding restructuring costs, and 28x if one excludes the $0.80 in forecasts 2016 addbacks.