"As we've moved through the year, we've seen continued economic weakening and uncertainty," Chief Executive Doug Oberhelman said in a statement.
The Peoria, Ill.-based company sees $9 to $9.25 a share in profit on $66 billion in sales for 2012, compared with a July forecast for per-share earnings of about $9.60 on sales of $68 billion to $70 billion.
For 2013, Caterpillar expects sales to be roughly the same as 2012, plus or minus 5 percent. That is the slowest in four years, compared with year-over-year growth of 31 percent in 2010, 41 percent in 2011 and an estimated 13 percent in 2012.
Last month, Caterpillar cut its profit target for 2015 to $12 to $18 a share, from an earlier projection of $15 to $20, and said revenue this year may be around $2 billion lower than forecast.
Still, Caterpillar booked record profit in the third quarter. Net income was $2.54 a share, up from $1.71 a share a year earlier. Analysts had expected Caterpillar to earn $2.22 a share.
Revenue fell short of predictions, though. Sales increased to $16.4 billion from $15.7 billion, less than the $16.77 billion that analysts forecast.
Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) fell 0.5 percent to $83.46 in Monday’s premarket trading.