News Summary: Caterpillar 4Q results

News Summary: Caterpillar says 2013 outlook could go either way

Associated Press

ACQUISITION WOES: Caterpillar's fourth quarter profit was less than half as big as a year earlier because of weak demand and a deal for a Chinese mine equipment supplier. That deal turned out to be overpriced due to what Caterpillar is now calling accounting misconduct previous to the acquisition.

SLOWDOWN: Caterpillar slowed production in the second half of the year, especially in the final quarter. That hurt profits because even though production was slower, some expenses remained steady.

WHAT'S NEXT: That remains cloudy. Caterpillar said 2013 could either be a record year or a tough one, depending on which way the economy turns.

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