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Caterpillar reports loss, but tops expectations

Caterpillar Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss as sales for equipment continued to slide amid weakness in the mining and energy industries.

Still, the results topped Wall Street expectations as the construction and mining equipment maker continues feeling the pain of lower commodity prices and a weakening global economy. It is in the process of cutting up to 10,000 jobs through 2018.

The Peoria-based company expects economic weakness to linger throughout 2016 and to continue weighing down its performance.

“We took tough but necessary restructuring actions in 2015 – and they were significant,” said Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman, in a statement.

The company lost $87 million, or 15 cents per share, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs, came to 74 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 69 cents per share.

Revenue fell 23 percent to $11.03 billion in the period, falling short of Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $11.28 billion.

Overall in 2015, the company earned $2.1 billion, or $3.50 per share on revenue of $47 billion.

Caterpillar expects full-year revenue in the range of $40 billion to $44 billion, marking a decline in the midpoint of that range by about $3.5 billion from its prior outlook.

Caterpillar shares have dropped 14 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has fallen roughly 8 percent. The stock has fallen 27 percent in the last 12 months.