Caterpillar Incorporated says its 2013 profit could shrink if the world's economy doesn't pick up in the second half of the year, as mining companies and builders remain cautious about buying new gear. The cloudy outlook for the year came as Caterpillar reported a fourth-quarter profit less than half as big as a year ago because of a deal in China that went bad and slower growth around most of the world. Caterpillar's performance rises and falls with the world's economy. It tries to predict where the economy is headed so it knows how many excavators, bulldozers, and mining trucks to build. Executives say this could be a record year for Caterpillar if recent economic improvements continue. But chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman says 2013 could be a tough year if growth and confidence decline in the second half. For the fourth quarter, Caterpillar earned $697 million, or $1.04 per share. That was down from a profit of $1.55 billion, or $2.32 per share a year earlier.
Support Your Public Radio Station