Caterpillar says its third-quarter earnings plunged 44 percent, and the construction equipment maker cut its 2013 forecast again, partly because of weaker mining equipment sales. The Peoria company says it earned $946 million, or $1.45 per share, in the quarter that ended September 30th. That compares with $1.7 billion, or $2.54 per share, in last year's quarter. Revenue tumbled 18 percent to $13.42 billion. Analysts forecast earnings of $1.68 per share on $14.29 billion in revenue. Caterpillar now expects 2013 earnings of about $5.50 per share, down $1 from its previous forecast. It also dropped revenue expectation to about $55 billion from $56 billion to $58 billion. The company also lowered its earnings and revenue expectations in July. Caterpillar shares fell more than 4 percent in premarket trading.
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