Caterpillar Inc. reported Monday that first-quarter profit rose 45 percent on stronger sales and relatively flat material costs, helping the maker of construction and agricultural equipment to beat Wall Street estimates.
Net income grew to $840 million, or $1.20 per share, from $581 million, or 81 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 13 percent to $9.39 billion from $8.34 billion last year on higher prices and sales volume, the company said.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings of $1.05 per share on sales of $8.7 billion.
The company raised its 2006 earnings per share forecast to a range of $4.85 to $5.20, from a previous range of $4.65 to $5, and kept its revenue forecast at about $40 billion.
Analysts estimate earnings of $4.99 per share on revenue of $38 billion.