The coronavirus outbreak is hurting blue-chip American companies with a big presence in China. Just look at construction and mining equipment giant Caterpillar (CAT).
The bulldozer and excavator maker said Tuesday that overall sales fell 21% in the first quarter, led by a 27% drop in its Asia-Pacific unit. Caterpillar generates about a fifth of its total revenue from Asia.
Decreases in China reflected lower end-user demand mostly due to COVID-19 pandemic-related impacts," the company said in the earnings release.
Caterpillar also noted that although "many governments classified Caterpillar's operations as an essential activity for support of critical infrastructure...Caterpillar has suspended operations temporarily at certain facilities during the last several weeks due to supply chain issues, weak customer demand or government regulations."
The company said about 75% of its production facilities are still operational.
Shares of Caterpillar were up slightly in early trading Tuesday but the stock has plunged 22% this year.