Caterpillar Equipment Sales Drop 8 Percent

NEW YORK (AP) -

Caterpillar Inc. said Tuesday that global sales of its heavy equipment fell 8 percent for the three-month period that ended in June, hurt by a steep drop in demand from Asia.

That followed a 7 percent decrease for the three months that ended in May and a 9 percent slide for the three months that ended in April, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Sales in Caterpillar’s Asia region dropped 21 percent in the most recent period, while North American sales fell 10 percent. The only region to post an increase was Latin America, where sales rose 9 percent.

The figures are based on unit sales as reported by Caterpillar’s dealers.

The global mining industry is slowing as commodity prices drop, hurting Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment. The slowdown in mining and in places like China — sectors that were expected to be the company’s big growth-drivers — prompted it in April to cut its guidance for the year. Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Ill., has also cut thousands of jobs in the past year.

The June numbers show a “gradual bottoming process, albeit a bit slower than many had hoped,” said Jefferies analyst Stephen Volkmann. He has a “Hold” rating and a $75 price target on Caterpillar stock.