Durable goods down in December, Caterpillar (CAT) drop in profits and Pfizer (PFE) posts weak results

Markets were heading lower on Tuesday after durable goods orders dropped in December. The Commerce Department said that orders for long-last manufactured goods fell 3.4% last month. This data followed November’s drop of 2.1%. The decline was largely attributed to a 55.5% plummet in the commercial aircraft sector orders. There were also drops in machinery, computer and primary metals.

Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) were heading lower after the company reported lower net profits that were affected by lower commodity prices. The company said that sinking copper, coal and iron ore prices have put a damper on mining equipment orders. CAT is the largest producer of construction and mining equipment. Fourth-quarter net profit came in at $757 million, which is down a staggering 25% from the $1.03 billion at this time last year. Earnings came in at $1.23 per share, which is down from the $1.54 at his time last year. Analysts’ were projecting earnings of $1.55 per share. Revenue hit $14.24 billion, which was also down from $14.4 billion this time last year. However, it did top analysts’ expectations of $14.18 billion. The company also said that they are expecting a “tough year in 2015.” Chief Executive Officer Dough Oberhelman, said, “While 2015 will be difficult, the work we’ve done to improve our cost structure, market position and quality will position us for better results when the world economy and the key industries we serve improve.”

Shares of Pfizer Inc. (PFE) were trading slightly higher after the company reported weak results. The company said that they earned $1.23 billion, or 19 cents per share during their fourth-quarter. This was down from $2.57 billion, or 39 cents per share this time last year. Revenue dropped 3% to $13.1 billion, however it still beat out analysts’ projections of $12.9 billion. The largest drop in sales for the company was from their global established products. Sales dipped 11% to $6.4 billion, which was partially attributed to an increase in competition of generic drugs. Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, Ian Reed, said, “Despite significant continued revenue headwinds from product losses of exclusivity and co-promote expires, we were able to deliver modest adjusted diluted EPS growth.”

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Research

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