One of the world’s largest manufacturers of bulldozers, solar turbines and other equipment for the construction, mining and industrial sectors has been forced to slash its full year earnings guidance after difficult trading conditions and a massive reduction in dealer inventory levels caused second quarter profit to drop by almost half when compared to the same period in 2012.

United States based Caterpillar Inc. earlier this week announced that revenue for the second quarter had dropped from $US17.354 billion in the second quarter of 2012 to $US14.621 billion in the most recent quarter. Meanwhile, profits had dropped from $US1.669 billion to $US960 million over the same quarter – a…