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Caterpillar profit beats as revenue falls short

Caterpillar CEO sees mining 'green shoots'

Caterpillar reported quarterly earnings that blew past Wall Street's expectations on Thursday, yet revenue fell short of estimates.

The company posted second-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $1.69, compared with $1.45 a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue for the quarter came in at $14.15 billion, versus $14.62 billion a year ago. Including items, the company booked a profit of $1.57 per share.

Analysts had expected the machinery giant to report earnings of $1.52 a share on $14.47 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

"Mining is still very slow," Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman told CNBC shortly after the world's largest maker of earth-moving machinery released results. "But for the first time in a long time, really since 2012, ... our second-quarter mining business was up very slightly from our first. That might be a green shoot," he said. "We're past the bottom in mining for sure."

In the interview on "Squawk Box, " Oberhelman added that business in construction, transportation, and energy "are going fine."

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

But Caterpillar cited an uncertain global growth picture that weighed on sales expectations. As a result, the company lowered its outlook for the year to a range of $54 billion to $56 billion, down from $56 billion to $58 billion. Caterpillar did hike its profit outlook, however, citing lower-than-expected restructuring costs.

"We see some softening outside the U.S., kind of across the board," said Oberhelman—including weakening in the economies of Brazil and China. "China has fallen off a little bit from the first quarter, even with the enhanced stimulus they're putting through to it."

He said the European economy is flat. "It hasn't fallen off. And we're past the bottom there as well. I just don't see a lot of growth."

Following the report, Caterpillar's shares fell in premarket trade. (Click here to track its shares.)

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By CNBC staff