Caterpillar, the manufacturer of bulldozers and other heavy equipment which is viewed as a bellwether of the U.S. economy, reported on Oct. 21 third-quarter net profit fell 6% from a year ago.
The group said net profit in the three months to the end of September totaled $868 million, down $59 million from $927 million in the third quarter of 2007.
"The decrease was the result of higher manufacturing costs, primarily for materials," the company said.
Revenues rose 13% to $12.981 billion from $11.442 billion in the same period last year.
For 2009, the group said it was forecasting unchanged profit and sales compared with this year but warned of the "extremely uncertain" outlook because of recent financial market turmoil. "In 2009 we expect pockets of strength in global mining, energy markets and in the area of emerging market infrastructure development to offset acute weakness in North America, Europe and Japan," CEO Jim Owens said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008