Caterpillar CEO: Lower oil hits earnings, outlook

CAT CEO: Looking at 'soft' year ahead
CAT CEO: Looking at 'soft' year ahead   

Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman told CNBC on Tuesday that he's looking for a soft year in 2015.

Before the opening bell, the construction and mining equipment giant reported a lower profit that came in well below expectations.

Shares of Caterpillar plunged more than 8 percent in premarket trading following the earnings announcement. (Get the latest quote here.)


Caterpillar blamed the earnings miss primarily to the recent drop in the price of oil and lower prices for copper, coal and iron ore. The strong dollar also didn't help either, Oberhelman said on "Squawk Box" moments after the earnings release. "It seems like when it rains it pours," he said, "and this is one of those days."

Caterpillar reported adjusted earnings of $1.35 a share, 20 cents below expectations. Revenue for the quarter of $14.24 billion beat forecasts. But the company also reduced its sales and revenue outlook because of the decline in oil prices.

"In terms of the dollar, I think there's more risk to a stronger dollar this year," Oberhelman said. "Commodity prices we've held pretty flat. Though they really in terms of copper folded up at the end of the year. I expect those prices to stay relatively soft until we see some kind of growth in the world somewhere."

While falling oil prices are hurting Cat, cheap gasoline at the pump and still-low interest rates should help the U.S. economy overall in the long run, he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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