Caterpillar says the global economy is weaker than previously thought, and the Peoria based company is cutting its profit and revenue guidance for 2012. Caterpillar recently cut its predictions for 2015. Caterpillar Inc. is the world's largest construction and mining equipment maker, so its results are watched closely as a sign of where the broader economy is headed. Profit in the third-quarter rose more than $500 million to almost $1.7 billion, or $2.54 per share. The results included a $273 million gain from selling a majority interest in a logistics business. The company now expects 2012 revenue of $66 billion, down more than a billion dollars. The reduction in profit could be as large as 41 cents per share to $9 per share. Caterpillar executives say dealers are selling off inventories rather than ordering new machines. That is forcing the company to idle some plants in Illinois. CEO Doug Oberhelman says the company "continues to see economic weakening and uncertainty." The latest announcement follows a wave of executive retirements including two members of Caterpillar's leadership team.
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