Correspondent, Chicago
James's Feed
May 17, 2013

China deal ends distraction, but not questions, for Caterpillar

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc’s (CAT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) deal to cut the purchase price of a Chinese mining-equipment maker it bought last year ends an embarrassing episode that overshadowed the company’s effort to expand in China and distracted its executives for months.

Now, analysts say, comes the hard part: Proving to investors that ERA Mining Machinery, the Chinese maker of hydraulic roof supports that Caterpillar purchased, really can help penetrate China’s huge underground mining market.

May 15, 2013

Deere results beat estimates, but company cautious

May 15 (Reuters) – Deere & Co reported
higher-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday and forecast
a record profit for the full year, but it said it was cautious
because of weakness in the construction market.

Shares of the Deere, the world’s largest maker of farm
equipment, fell 3.8 percent to $90.25 in trading before the
market opened.

Apr 25, 2013

Harley-Davidson sees consumer rebound accelerating; stock up

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sounded an upbeat note about the state of the global consumer on Thursday with a 34 percent increase in quarterly profit and a big jump in shipments of its iconic motorcycles ahead of the traditional spring selling season.

The Milwaukee-based company, closely watched because of the window it provides on discretionary spending, said overall revenue from bikes, parts and accessories, and apparel rose 9.8 percent to $1.57 billion in the most recent quarter.

Apr 25, 2013

Harley-Davidson posts higher profit, stock rises 3 percent

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported profits on Thursday that were in line with expectations and kept its full-year shipment forecast unchanged as its five-year-long restructuring effort continued to boost its financial performance.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker posted a first-quarter profit of $224.1 million, or 99 cents a share, up from $172.0 million, or 74 cents a share a year ago. The gains came even as dealer retail sales in several key markets showed signs of weakness.

Apr 25, 2013

Harley-Davidson posts higher profit, sticks to forecast

April 25 (Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc reported a
sharply higher profit in line with expectations and kept its
full-year shipment forecast unchanged, even as dealer retail
sales in several key markets showed signs of weakness.

The Milwaukee-based company on Thursday posted a
first-quarter profit of $224.1 million, or 99 cents a share, up
from $172.0 million, or 74 cents a share a year ago.

Apr 23, 2013

Analysis: Caterpillar cries “uncle” on mining; investors cry “buy”

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An odd thing happened on Monday when Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, posted disappointing profits and cut its full-year forecast, blaming weakness in the mining industry it bet on so heavily in recent years.

Its shares rallied.

When other big U.S. companies, including General Electric (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Textron Inc (TXT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), have warned of slowing profit growth in recent days, the news has unnerved investors and sent their stock prices lower.

Apr 22, 2013

Caterpillar cries “uncle” on mining; investors cry “buy”

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An odd thing happened on Monday when Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, posted disappointing profits and cut its full-year forecast, blaming weakness in the mining industry it bet on so heavily in recent years.

Its shares rallied.

When other big U.S. companies, including General Electric (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Textron Inc (TXT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), have warned of slowing profit growth in recent days, the news has unnerved investors and sent their stock prices lower.

Apr 22, 2013

Caterpillar profit misses, cuts outlook on weak mining

CHICAGO, April 22 (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc posted
disappointing quarterly results and cut its 2013 profit forecast
on Monday to reflect a drop in demand for heavy equipment from
its mining customers, and its shares turned lower in early
trading.

But Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman
said the mining sector has hit bottom and production was
expected to ramp up in the second quarter, based on lower
inventories in China and the United States.

Mar 28, 2013

Winnebago results show confidence rebound among seniors

March 28 (Reuters) – Winnebago Industries Inc
reported surprisingly strong profit on Thursday, suggesting the
growing confidence among U.S. consumers is shared by the 50 and
older crowd, the prime demographic for the No. 1 U.S. maker of
motorhomes.

The company said renewed momentum in the broader economy -
from surging stock prices to signs of recovery in the housing
market – helped push its order backlog to pre-recession levels
and its profit past market expectations for the third quarter in
a row.

Mar 27, 2013

In Chicago, thousands march to protest proposed school closings

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Thousands of demonstrators rallied in downtown Chicago on Wednesday to protest the city’s plan to close 54 public schools, primarily in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods.

The closings, which the school board plans to vote on in May, would be the biggest one-time shutdown ever by a U.S. city. Wednesday’s demonstration, organized by the teacher’s union, drew parents, students and other critics of the plan.