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Caterpillar Posts 4Q Loss, Trims 2017 Revenue Outlook

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PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar's fourth-quarter loss widened, dragged down by three hefty charges and higher-than-expected restructuring costs.

Its adjusted profit beat Wall Street's expectations, but its revenue missed expectations. The construction and mining company also slightly lowered its 2017 revenue forecast.

Shares fell before the market open on Thursday.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Caterpillar Inc. lost $1.17 billion, or $2 per share. That compares with a loss of $94 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

Stripping out the charges and restructuring costs, earnings were 83 cents per share. Still, that easily beat the 65 cents per share that analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research expected.

Revenue declined to $9.57 billion from $11.03 billion, missing the $9.75 billion in revenue that Wall Street expected.

Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby said in a written statement that the company's quarterly performance "continued to reflect pressure in many of our end markets from weak economic conditions around much of the world."

For the year, the Peoria, Illinois-based company reported an adjusted profit of $3.42 per share on revenue of $38.54 billion.

Looking ahead, Caterpillar said that it now anticipates 2017 revenue in a range of $36 billion to $39 billion, with a midpoint of $37.5 billion. It previously though that revenue of about $38 billion was a reasonable midpoint expectation. Caterpillar said that it had to slightly lower its expectations due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar over the last two months.

The company predicts a 2017 adjusted profit of approximately $2.90 per share at the midpoint.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect 2017 earnings of $3.06 per share on revenue of $37.56 billion.

Caterpillar's stock dropped $1.04 to $97.11 in premarket trading.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CAT at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CAT

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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