Caterpillar CEO: 'We're close to the bottom'

CAT misses on EPS, beats on revenues: CEO
CAT misses on EPS, beats on revenues: CEO

Caterpillar on Friday reported earnings that fell short of analyst expectations and lowered its midpoint 2016 revenue outlook.

The heavy equipment giant blamed a continuing slump in demand.

"We're close to the bottom or bottoming," Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman told CNBC's "Squawk Box." He said he hopes 2016 is the last down year.

Citing a bright spot, Oberhelman said: "We've seen actually an adjustment upwards in China in the first quarter, which is kind of nice. It's the first time we've talked about that in a couple [or] three years."

"China is stimulating and they've added a little debt to their GDP forecast," he said. "We're feeling some of that in large products. Hopefully that will be sustained; something they do throughout the rest of the year."

People look at vehicles at AutoNation Toyota dealership in Cerritos, California.
AutoNation CEO: 'Biblical hail' pounded profits
A McDonald's restaurant in Dallas.
McDonald’s posts Q1 earnings beat
GE earns 21 cents per share vs 19 cents EPS estimate

Overall, Caterpillar posted adjusted first-quarter earnings of 67 cents a share. Revenue of $9.5 billion was better than expected but fell 25 percent from the year-ago period. The company earned $2.07 per share in the first quart of 2015.

The company also narrowed its first-quarter 2016 revenue outlook range to $40 billion to $42 billion from $41 billion to $42 billion, blaming lower sales from the transportation and mining sectors.

The company also cut its 2016 adjusted earnings outlook to $3.70 a share from $4 a share.

Restructuring costs are now expected to be about $550 million in 2016, up $150 million from the previous outlook.

"We're going to do a little bit more restructuring than we had planned, which is good for the future," Oberhelman told CNBC. "We'll adjust headcount as necessary. Right not, we're in pretty good shape, I think, for the rest of 2016."