Caterpillar cuts 2012 guidance on weak economy

MINNEAPOLIS - Caterpillar says the global economy is weaker than previously thought, and it's cutting its profit and revenue guidance for 2012.

Caterpillar Inc. is the world's largest construction and mining equipment maker, so its results are watched closely as a sign of where the broader economy is headed.

Profit in the third-quarter was almost $1.7 billion, or $2.54 per share. That was up from $1.14 billion, or $1.71per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 4.6 percent to $16.45 billion.

The results included a $273 million gain from selling a majority interest in a logistics business.

The company now expects 2012 revenue of $66 billion, with profit of $9 to $9.25 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected revenue of $67.2 billion, with profit of $9.41 per share.