Industrial Bellweather Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) is dragging down the industry and sector-related exchange traded funds after revealing some belt-tightening measures and a weaker outlook in light of the depressed commodities markets.
Caterpillar plunged as much as 7.9% Thursday. The company stocks declined after it announced cuts of up to 10,000 jobs over four years and lowered its 2015 revenue project by $1 billion to $48 billion, with sales expected to fall 5% next year, in response to a slowdown in mining and energy sectors, reports Sonja Elmquist for Bloomberg.
“We are facing a convergence of challenging marketplace conditions in key regions and industry sectors – namely in mining and energy,” Caterpillar Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman said in the statement. “While they are the right businesses to be in for the long term, we have to manage through what can be considerable and sometimes prolonged downturns.”
Caterpillar is moving toward its first four-year fall in sales in its 90-year history. The weakness comes after the company threw $7.5 billion into acquiring Bucyrus International to expand into mining equipment. However, a slowdown in China has triggered a sell-off in metals and coal prices, which has diminished equipment demand from miners. Moreover, the plunge in oil prices has also reduced energy equipment spending.
“The customer base is still cutting capex pretty dramatically so 2016 was not going to be a good year,” Karen Ubelhart, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said. “They’re basically writing down next year.”
The bleaker outlook is mirrored across the sector, with Joy Global (NYSE: JOY), a rival mining equipment provider, also cutting its 2015 earnings and revenue forecast earlier this month.