On April 24 Caterpillar (CAT) reported first quarter earnings before the New York markets opened that easily beat analyst projections. And the company raised its guidance for fiscal 2018 to earnings per share of $10.25-$11.25 from a previous $8.25-$9.25.
The stock broke higher out of the gate with the shares up by as much as 4.6%.
And then came the conference call. The company said that margins in the first quarter would be the high water mark for the year.
That took the steam out of Caterpillar–the stock fell to a loss of 6.2% for the day. The industrial sector and the entire market went with it.
In fact, I think you could make a case that “high water mark” fears set the tone for much of earnings season where traders and investors sold down the shares of almost every company that reported an earnings surprise.
Now, however, Caterpillar is taking it all back. The company told the Wells Fargo Industrials Conference that it didn’t mean to suggest that its markets were peaking. “All we meant was that we had an exceptionally strong first quarter,” the company “clarified.”
Caterpillar shares are up 0.1% as of 11:30 a.m. in New York today.