Oct 31 (Reuters) – Caterpillar (CAT.N) reported a double-digit rise in revenue on Tuesday, beating Wall Avenue estimates on strong development tools gross sales in North America, however its shares slid in early buying and selling on indicators of slowing equipment demand.
The Texas-based producer’s shares fell as a lot as 6.3% as vendor inventories rose for the third-consecutive quarter on the similar time Caterpillar’s order backlog shrunk, indicating that tools demand could have peaked.
The world’s largest development tools maker’s order backlog fell $2.6 billion over the quarter.
“The order backlog fell … which is an effective main indicator that demand is slowing,” mentioned Matt Britzman, fairness analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Executives tried to assuage investor issues on a convention name. Chief Monetary Officer Andrew Bonfield mentioned that vendor inventories for development tools are “throughout the typical three-to-four month gross sales vary.”
“There are nonetheless areas and merchandise the place sellers want to have extra stock,” Bonfield mentioned, including that Caterpillar may be very comfy with stock ranges.
Development tools demand had been resilient because the U.S. upgraded its roads, railways and different transportation infrastructure beneath a $1 trillion bundle authorized by Congress in 2021 beneath the Biden administration.
Caterpillar’s revenue has additionally benefited from efficient value controls and value hikes shielding margins amid ongoing inflationary pressures.
Equipment, Power and Transportation tools revenue rose 48% from the yr prior.
Executives reiterated that demand for heavy equipment from development and mining industries was anticipated to drive full-year working margin barely above its focused vary. The corporate had forecast an adjusted working revenue margin between 10-13% and 18-21% when it reported fourth-quarter outcomes on Jan. 31.
Caterpillar’s gross sales and income had been up throughout all tools segments, with its development division recording the best bump, a 12% rise.
“Third quarter was very sturdy outcomes – nonetheless pretty value pushed,” mentioned Kristen Owen, government director at Oppenheimer & Co Inc. “We knew there have been going to be some quantity headwinds within the again half of the yr as Cat seems to be to convey down stock ranges.”
The corporate has ramped up manufacturing to make up for gross sales missed through the pandemic when elements had been unavailable however remains to be navigating provide chain challenges, primarily with its massive engines.
Its revenue rose to $2.79 billion, or $5.45 per share, outpacing an analysts’ forecast of $4.79 for the third-quarter ending Sept. 30.
The trade bellwether’s gross sales for the quarter via September rose 12% to $16.8 billion from $14.9 billion a yr earlier.
Reporting by Bianca Flowers in Chicago and Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru; Modifying by Devika Syamnath, Louise Heavens, Mark Porter, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Marguerita Choy
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