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Caterpillar Beats Forecasts, Raises Outlook

The company saw strong sales growth during the second quarter


While many other businesses are predicting tough times in coming quarters, Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is forecasting increased profits. The heavy equipment manufacturer hiked its guidance when it posted second-quarter earnings on Wednesday of $1.67 billion, up 67% from $1.02 billion during the same period last year.

During the quarter, revenue jumped 21% to $17.37 billion. EPS was $2.54, up from $1.52 in 2011. The results topped Wall Street, which had predicted EPS of $2.28 on revenue of $17.11 billion, Reuters noted.

Should I Buy Caterpillar? 3 Pros, 3 Cons
Should I Buy Caterpillar? 3 Pros, 3 Cons

Caterpillar new guidance is for earnings of $9.60 a share, up from earlier forecasts of $9.50, and ahead of analysts, who are looking for $9.54.

Shares of Caterpillar rose more than 2% in Wednesday morning trading.

Company officials noted that while economic problems remain in North America, Asia and Latin America, they see improving growth in the second half of the year. CEO Doug Oberhelman noted rising construction equipment spending, low interest rates and an improving U.S. housing market as reasons for optimism.

Last month, Catepillar announced that it was considering “all options” in regard to updating its Peoria, Ill., headquarters. Tensions between the company’s management and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn have led some to speculate that it could relocate its headquarters to another state.

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