Wall Street opened mixed on Monday, as investors weighed better-than-expected earnings results from Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and prepared for a busy week of corporate earnings from the likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 26.51 points, or 0.17 percent, to 15,905.62. The S&P 500 lost 2.69 points, or 0.15 percent, to 1,787.63. The Nasdaq Composite was down 30.45 points, or 0.74 percent, to 4,097.72.
U.S. stock futures initially rebounded from Friday’s losses, after the Dow tumbled 318 points, as Wall Street suffered its worst week since 2011 on emerging market concerns.
Ahead of the bell, Caterpillar Inc. reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $1 billion, or $1.54 per share, compared with earnings of $697 million, or $1.04 a share, a year ago. Meanwhile, revenue declined to $14.40 billion from $16.08 billion a year earlier.
Wall Street had expected the equipment maker to post earnings of $1.28 on revenue of $13.6 billion, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
“In such a challenging environment, I am proud of the way our employees came together in 2013. Despite a sales and revenues decline of about $10 billion, we set a record for operating cash flow, strengthened our balance sheet and improved our overall market position for machines. We continued to improve safety in ourfacilities and the quality of the products we ship each day,” said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman.
Caterpillar said sales and revenues for 2013 came in at $55.656 billion, down 16 percent from $65.875 billion in 2012, primarily driven by a sharp drop in sales of new machines for mining. In addition, profit per share in 2013 was $5.75, down from $8.48 in 2012. However, the company reported record Machinery and Power Systems (M&PS) operating cash flow of $9 billion in 2013 despite the challenging environment.
“Cost flexibility is critical to our strategy and was a significant focus in 2013 as we took substantial actions to help maintain profitability as sales declined. Excluding the impact of cost absorption our manufacturing costs and SG&A and R&D expenses were favorable by $1.2 billion compared with 2012. It wasn’t easy, especially for our employees who endured an incredibly tough year, but the actions we initiated helped us deliver strong operational performance in 2013.”
Caterpillar also announced a new $10 billion stock repurchase program that will expire on Dec. 31, 2018.
Shares of Caterpillar rose 5.73 percent to $91.11 in early trading.
On the economic calendar, data on Monday showed new home sales fell for second straight month in December, more than economists had anticipated. Sales declined 7.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000 units, the Commerce Department said. November's sales were revised to a 445,000 unit pace, compared with the previously reported 464,000 unit rate.