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Caterpillar withdraws guidance for 2020 over coronavirus

Caterpillar Inc. said Thursday it is withdrawing financial guidance for 2020 that was offered on Jan. 31, because of the uncertainty being created by the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The Deerfield, Ill.-based maker of diggers and dozers said most of its domestic operations continue to run and it is also operational in those parts of the world where it is still permitted by local authorities. “However, due to uncertain economic conditions resulting in weaker demand, potential supply constraints and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and related government actions, Caterpillar is temporarily suspending operations at certain facilities,” the company said in a statement. “The company will continue to monitor the situation and may suspend operations at additional facilities as the situation warrants.” The company said its financial position remains strong, with $8.3 billion of cash on its balance sheet at the end of 2019, and access to $10.5 billion worth of credit facilities. Shares fell 2.1% in premarket trading and are down 29% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 23%.

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