The world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment is scheduled to report its second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, which analysts said could provide a measure of the state of the overall economy.
The company, which makes a broad range of construction equipment, from bulldozers to backhoes and skid steers, has been hurt by slowing sales and the slumping housing and construction industries.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters estimate earnings of 22 cents per share for the quarter, down from $1.74 per share during the same period a year earlier, and revenue of $8.86 billion, down from $13.62 billion in the second quarter last year.
Alexander M. Blanton wrote in an investors' note that a sales report from the equipment manufacturer showed a 43 percent drop in global sales in May, according to BusinessWeek.
"It showed by far the largest year-over-year decline in sales of machines and engines for the cycle so far, which tends to support our negative economic view," the analyst wrote.
Investors are looking for signs that the stimulus spending in the U.S. and abroad in countries like China is having a positive effect.
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