Weakening economic growth in China and Brazil hit Caterpillar hard last year, as did lower global commodity prices. As a result, the big machine manufacturer suffered big losses, slipping down five spots on this year’s Fortune 500 list. At $47 billion, its 2015 sales were down nearly 15% from the year before. Lower oil prices were particularly painful, sending orders for machines that support oil drilling and well servicing down close to 90% from the year before. But there are potential bright spots: The 91-year-old company is investing in predictive analytics offerings, connecting their machines with data-gathering sensors, and partnering with tech players to create new revenue streams.
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