Caterpillar cuts outlook, sees global economy weakening

PEORIA, Ill., Mon Oct 22, 2012 –  Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of tractors and excavators, slashed its 2012 forecast for the second time this year as it warned the global economy was slowing faster than it had expected.

The company’s retail dealers are selling off inventories, rather than buying new machines, forcing Caterpillar to idle some production, executives said on Monday.

“As we’ve moved through the year, we’ve seen continued economic weakening and uncertainty,” CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a statement.

Caterpillar does not expect improvement in overall economic growth until the second half of 2013, Oberhelman added.

The statement came despite better-than-expected third-quarter profit on a rebound in U.S. sales of heavy equipment to repair crumbling infrastructure. Europe and parts of Latin America remained tough regions for Caterpillar.

Groupon hits low on Evercore downgrade, $3 price target

SAN FRANCISCO, Fri Aug 17, 2012 – Groupon Inc. shares slumped to a new low on Friday after an analyst raised concerns about the future effect of slowing growth on the daily deal company’s large cash position.

Groupon shares were down 8.0 percent at $4.60 in early afternoon trading on Friday, after sinking to a record low of $4.51 earlier in the day.

The declines added to a swoon in recent weeks that has enveloped not just Groupon, but several consumer Internet and social media stocks including Facebook Inc./and Zynga Inc.

Groupon’s losses on Friday came after Evercore Partners analyst Ken Sena downgraded shares of the largest daily deal company and set a $3 price target on the stock.

Groupon missed Wall Street’s second-quarter revenue expectations earlier this week. Gross billings, which reflect the money Groupon collects from consumers who buy its daily deals, fell during the second quarter, the company also said.

“We see potential for future cash burn assuming billings declines persist,” Sena wrote in a note to investors.

Groupon has more than $1 billion in cash and the company generates a lot of working capital because it collects money upfront from customers who buy its vouchers and it then takes at least 30 days to pay merchants their share.