Jan 28 Caterpillar Inc, the world's
largest maker of construction equipment, reported a 55 percent
drop in quarterly profit on Monday as customers sold off
existing inventories rather than buy new machines.
For the fourth quarter, the company posted net income of
$697 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with $1.55 billion,
or $2.32 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Revenue fell 7 percent to $16.08 billion.
Caterpillar expects to earn $7 to $9 per share in 2013.
Earlier this month Caterpillar said it discovered accounting
fraud at a Chinese coal mining supplier it bought in 2012.
Caterpillar wrote down most of the $650 million deal, zapping
fourth-quarter results by 87 cents per share.