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Caterpillar Trumps Street 1Q Expectations, Raises Forecast

The company's earnings were well above most expectations.

Fri April 24, 2015 - National Edition

PEORIA, ILLINOIS (AP) - Caterpillar’s earnings soared more than 20 percent even though revenue slipped and construction and mining equipment maker hiked its 2015 earnings forecast well above most expectations.

The company’s shares jumped nearly 4 percent before markets opened Thursday.

Caterpillar’s profit for the quarter that ended March 31 included a pre-tax gain of $120 million from the sale of its remaining interest in a logistics business. The company also saw a nearly 6 percent drop in operating costs, to $11.18 billion.

Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a printed statement that the company’s focus on costs helped during a tough time for some of the company’s cyclical businesses. He noted that Caterpillar’s mining business remained weak, and construction was down in most regions. But operating profit jumped 18 percent to $986 million in the company’s Energy & Transportation segment.

Caterpillar Inc. earned $1.11 billion, or $1.81 per share, in the quarter. That compares with $922 million, or $1.44 per share, last year.

Earnings in the latest quarter totaled $1.81 per share, not counting restructuring costs.

Revenue slid 4 percent to $12.7 billion.

Analysts forecast earnings of $1.35 per share on $12.36 billion in revenue, according to the data firm FactSet.

The Peoria, Illinois, company now expects an adjusted 2015 profit of $5 per share, up from its previous forecast for $4.75 per share.

Analysts predict $4.78 per share.

Shares climbed $2.98 to $87.85 in premarket trading, easing some of the loss it had registered so far this year. The stock had dropped 7 percent since Dec. 31.