Caterpillar Profit Tops Forecasts; Firm Raises Outlook

Caterpillarshares rose more than 2 percent on Friday after the Dow component posted quarterly results that beat Wall Street estimates and boosted its outlook for the full-year.

Douglas C. Pizac

The heavy-equipment manufacturer said its net income was $1.84 a share in the first quarter, compared with 36 cents a share this time last year.

Sales for the most recent quarter reached $12.95 billion, up from $8.24 billion in the same period last year.

Analysts who follow the company projected Caterpillar to earn $1.31 a share on revenue of $11.69 billion.

In addition, the company boosted its full-year outlook, saying it now expects to earn $6.25 to $6.75 a share, up from its prior forecast of "near $6'' a share.

Shares of Caterpillar were up more than 2 percent. Get real-time quotes for Caterpillar here.

Caterpillar is expected to close its $7.6 billion acquisitionof mining equipment BucyrusInternational later this year. Caterpillar officials in March said they may complete the purchase without issuing new shares because of the company's expected strong profit growth this year.

"Demand continued to improve, we increased production, cost control was excellent, and our operating profit margin improved," said Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar, in a prepared statement. "We generated more than $1.6 billion of operating cash flow from our Machinery and Power Systems (M&PS) businesses, an increase of more than 50 percent, and our debt-to-capital ratio dropped more than 4 percentage points from year-end 2010."