After a shocking guidance downgrade that sent Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) shares tumbling last month, all eyes are on what the heavy-equipment manufacturer will report in its upcoming third-quarter earnings release. Estimates are low, with analysts projecting Caterpillar's earnings per share to slump by half on a nearly 18% drop in revenue.

But for a cyclical company like Caterpillar, the story goes well beyond its top and bottom lines. There are three key areas that you cannot miss in its earnings report if you want a better idea about where the company, and its stock, could be headed. Take a look at the slideshow below to learn what they are.

3 Things You Can't Miss in Caterpillar's Upcoming Earnings Report from The Motley Fool.

Neha Chamaria has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.