Caterpillar just announced Q2 financial results that beat expectations.

The construction and mining equipment giant earned $1.69 per share, beating expectations for $1.52.

Revenue came in at $14.15 billion, which was a bit lower than the $14.50 billion expected.

As a global supplier of capital equipment, many look to CAT as a bellwether of economic activity.

"After a sizable drop in sales and revenues in 2013, our ongoing forecasting process has, since the third quarter of last year, pegged 2014 as a roughly ­flat year for sales.  That's still the case," said CEO Doug Oberhelman. "There have been plusses and minuses, but they've both been relatively muted in the context of our total sales and revenues.  While we'd certainly like to see improvement in economies around the world, and more specifically, the mining industry, the stability that we've seen this year has helped.  Even though sales and revenues are relatively flat compared to last year, we've improved the bottom line with better execution and continued focus on costs,"

Management also announced a new plan to buyback approximately $2.5 billion worth of shares during Q3.

"With a strong balance sheet, positive cash flow, sufficient cash on hand and more modest needs for capital expenditures, it makes sense to continue to reward stockholders," said Oberhelman.

Caterpillar is down around 1% in premarket trading.

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