Caterpillar says Wall Street is too bullish on its sales for next year (CAT)

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Flickr/ Darron Birgenheier

Caterpillar on Thursday said analysts' consensus estimates for sales and profit next year were "too optimistic," taking into account the challenges it expects.

The company halted trading of its shares before announcing this, just ahead of a presentation at a Credit Suisse conference.

"In our view, $3.25 on $38 billion of sales and revenues is too optimistic considering expected headwinds," Caterpillar said, in a slide deck posted by the company.
The estimates reflect the analyst consensus on Thomson First Call.

In the presentation, the maker of heavy industrial equipment also said oil prices were still too volatile to make any substantial investment. Economic growth in Europe — particularly after the UK's exit from the European Union — and power generation in oil-producing regions, remain a concern.

The company said it is on track for over $2 billion in cost reductions this year. The restructuring will involve having "fewer people," Caterpillar said.Screen Shot 2016 12 01 at 11.27.32 AMFlickr/ Darron BirgenheierThe company lowered its outlook for 2016 profit when it reported third-quarter earnings results. Because Caterpillar products like bulldozers and electric generators are used in a variety of massive capital projects across the world, the company's performance is seen as a bellwether for the global industrial economy.

Caterpillar's stock slipped, then rebounded to a 1.7% gain after the halt was lifted. It's up 41% year-to-date.

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