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Caterpillar Inc.'s quarterly profits triple

Caterpillar Inc. on Thursday said quarterly earnings more than tripled on increased demand, higher selling prices and improved profits on its diesel truck engines.
/ Source: Reuters

Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of construction equipment, on Thursday said quarterly earnings more than tripled on increased demand, higher selling prices and improved profits on its diesel truck engines.

The company reported first-quarter net income of $412 million, or $1.16 a share, compared with $129 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.

That far exceeded analysts' estimates, which had ranged from 37 cents to 86 cents, with an average estimate of 69 cents, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.

Sales increased 34 percent to $6.47 billion from $4.82 billion a year ago.

Caterpillar also raised its earnings outlook for the full year. It now expects per-share earnings to increase about 65 percent to 70 percent instead of the 40 percent forecast previously. It also forecast a sales increase of 20 percent instead of 12 percent.