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商业 - 工业和采矿

“全球经济晴雨表”卡特彼勒业绩惨淡

Chris Matthews 2015年01月29日

卡特彼勒的业绩表现往往被视为全球经济晴雨表,因为该公司销售的工程和采矿设备发挥着全球经济增长引擎的作用。卡特彼勒前景变差,意味着今后全球经济可能陷入困局。

    汽油价格低迷,失业率也不断下降,这样的双重利好可能让美国消费者欢欣鼓舞,但很大一部分美国公司并不这么乐观。

    周二,世界大型企业联合会宣布,美国消费者信心指数达到了2007年8月份以来的最高水。但就在当天上午,美国股市暴跌,原因是卡特彼勒和杜邦等大公司披露的业绩令人失望,辉瑞制药和百时美施贵宝等企业做出了悲观预期。

    由于美国经济走势较强,再加上欧洲央行推出债券购买计划,美元迅速升值,这是美国公司盈利达不到预期或者下调业绩展望的原因之一。美元汇率上升意味着美国公司的海外竞争力下降。

    但卡特彼勒主要受到了石油及其他大宗商品价格暴跌的不利影响。能源和矿业公司因此削减投资,而这些投资正是卡特彼勒的主要销售收入来源。

    世界上其他地区的经济远不像美国经济那样前景光明,这也是导致业绩令人失望的原因。中国和欧洲最近都下调了经济增长预期。此外,巴西、土耳其和俄罗斯等新兴市场也因为油价下跌和外商投资起伏不定而陷入困境。

    卡特彼勒董事长兼首席执行官道格•奥伯赫尔曼在今早发布的新闻稿中表示,该公司预计2015年销售额将减少9%左右,最主要的原因就是油价急剧下挫。

    但该公司也指出了其他原因,如其他大宗商品价格下跌,欧洲经济增长缓慢以及中国经济走势相对放缓。

    卡特彼勒副总裁麦克•德瓦尔特在上午的分析师电话会议上说:“欧洲经济增长确实不可观。而像巴西和中国等发展中国家则遇到了挑战。”要点在于,油价下跌的部分原因正是美国以外的经济体增长放缓,特别是中国。

    卡特彼勒的业绩表现往往被视为全球经济晴雨表,因为该公司销售的工程和采矿设备发挥着全球经济增长引擎的作用。卡特彼勒前景变差,意味着今后全球经济可能陷入困局。

    与之相反,美国经济对海外市场的依赖度不高,出口只占美国GDP的10%,而消费支出所占的比重超过70%。因此,虽然海外市场低迷肯定不利于美国经济,但也只影响卡特彼勒这些倚重出口的公司,大多数美国本土劳动者和企业主并未对此感到担心。

    在美国,就业和经济强劲增长,通胀处于低点,能源价格低迷,在这些因素的共同作用下,2015年应该成为美国经济复苏最为迅猛的一年。只要欧洲还能支撑下去,中国经济不过快滑坡,则海外的问题可能不会影响美国。(财富中文网)

    译者: Charlie

    审稿:Sissi

    The American consumer may be rejoicing over the dual tailwinds of cheap gas prices and falling unemployment, but much of Corporate America isn’t so sanguine.

    On the same morning that the Conference Board announced that consumer confidence reached its highest level since August 2007, the stock market took a nose dive, driven by disappointing earnings announcements by big-name companies like Caterpillar CAT -7.18% and Dupont DD -1.25% , and downbeat outlooks from the likes of Pfizer PFE -0.61% and Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY -0.75% .

    The missed earnings and revised expectations are due in part to a rapidly appreciating dollar, which is being driven up by the relative strength of the U.S. economy as well as the announcement of central bank bond buying in Europe. A more expensive dollar means that U.S. companies are less competitive abroad.

    But Caterpillar in particular has been negatively affected by the sharp drop in the price of oil and other commodities. The drops have led energy and mining companies to reduce their investment in the kind of accounts for the bulk of Caterpillar’s sales.

    The disappointing news can also be hung on the fact that the rest of the world’s economic outlook isn’t nearly as rosy as it is in the U.S. Both China and Europe have recently reduced their growth forecasts. Meanwhile, emerging markets like Brazil, Turkey, and Russia are reeling amid falling oil prices and whipsawing foreign investment.

    In a press release this morning, Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said that the sharp decline in the price of oil is the single biggest factor contributing to its prediction that sales will fall roughly 9% in 2015.

    But the company did not discount the impact of falling prices in other commodities, in addition to slow growth in Europe, and relatively slow growth in China.

    “We’re not seeing any decent growth out of Europe,” said Mike DeWalt, a Caterpillar vice president said in a conference call this morning with analysts. “The developing countries like Brazil and China, are, shall we say, challenged.”

    It’s important to remember that the decline in the price of oil is partly due to slower growth abroad and in China in particular.

    Caterpillar’s performance is often seen as a gauge of the health of the global economy because it sells the sort of equipment—construction and mining—that functions as an engine of global economic growth. Caterpillar’s diminished outlook suggests the potential for trouble ahead.

    The U.S. economy, by contrast, is not highly dependent on sales abroad—U.S. GDP is composed of just 10% exports, while consumer spending makes up north of 70%. So, while weakness abroad certainly isn’t good for the American economy and it is a bad sign for export-heavy companies like Caterpillar, it’s not something that should worry most workers or business owners stateside.

    In the U.S., strong job and GDP growth, low inflation, and the jolt of cheap energy prices should all conspire to make 2015 the strongest year yet in the economic recovery. As long as Europe is able to muddle along and China’s growth doesn’t drop off the table too sharply, the struggles abroad will likely steer clear of America’s shores.

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