CHICAGO (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc’s (CAT.N) earnings on Wednesday missed Wall Street’s estimates, hurt by a combination of weak sales in China, and higher production and restructuring costs, leading to a nearly 4% fall in its shares in premarket trade.

The heavy equipment maker retained its 2019 earnings outlook, but said the full-year earnings are expected to be at the lower end of its forecast.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based company, a proxy for global economic activity, benefited in the past year from the strongest global growth since 2010. However, a tariff war between the United States and trade partners including China has sapped business confidence, dampening economic activity.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday lowered its forecast for global growth this year and next, its fourth downgrade since October.

Still, Caterpillar expects moderate sales growth this year, helped by a recovery in demand for machines for the oil and gas sector.

Its construction equipment division, the biggest source of the company’s revenues, recorded a 22% year-on-year fall in sales in Asia-Pacific due to lower demand, mainly in China.

Sales of oil & gas equipment were down in North America.

The company saw a nearly 2 percentage point increase in its cost of production during the quarter from a year ago on the back of higher tariff bill and labor costs.

Andrew Bonfield, CAT’s chief financial officer, told Reuters that the company paid $70 million in tariffs costs during the June quarter.

FILE PHOTO: Caterpillar logo is pictured at the ‘Bauma’ Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment in Munich, Germany, April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

In the second quarter, CAT reported net income of $1.62 billion, or $2.83 per share, compared with $1.71 billion, or $2.82 per share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv, on average, expected earnings of $3.11 per share.

Revenues grew 3% year-on-year to $14.4 billion.

The company retained its full-year earnings forecast of $12.06-$13.06 per share. Adjusted profits for 2019 are estimated to come in between $11.75 and $12.75 per share.

Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Nick Zieminski

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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