How will Caterpillar dig out?

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Caterpillar’s investments in the mining business the past few years haven’t paid off and some analysts wonder if the Peoria-based maker of heavy equipment will soon shift its focus.

The company’s sales are down by $11 billion and third-quarter earnings dropped 44 percent.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports power systems might be Caterpillar’s way out. Power systems provided 37 percent of Caterpillar’s sales in the third quarter. And the division’s high margins made up about half of the company’s operating profit, analysts said.

“When Doug Oberhelman came in, he was like a god who was going to fix everything that was wrong with Cat. Four years later, people are wondering: ‘What is this guy doing and why is he the CEO?’ “ Joel Tiss, senior analyst at New York’s BMO Capital Markets Corp., told Crain’s.

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