Caterpillar earnings boosted by North American strength

Caterpillar earnings boosted by North American strength

Strength in Caterpillar's North America and Middle East markets offset weakness in China and Europe
Strength in Caterpillar's North America and Middle East markets offset weakness in China and Europe. Photo: JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP/File
Source: AFP

Caterpillar reported higher profits Tuesday behind strong pricing trends, especially in its home North America market, which led revenue growth.

The industrial giant -- which manufacturers construction and mining equipment and other heavy goods -- reported a $2.8 billion profit, up 37 percent from the year-ago period.

Revenues rose 12 percent to $16.8 billion at the company, seen as a bellwether among US industrials.

Executives pointed to increased US government spending on infrastructure as a driver of robust construction spending along with greater investment in residential projects.

The Middle East was another source of "continually strong construction demand," said Chief Executive Jim Umpleby, offsetting weakness in other regions.

Umpleby told Wall Street analysts the company expects "continued weakness" in China where construction activity is well below the long-term growth trends.

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Europe has been another challenged area, along with Latin America, executives said.

Given the overall picture, Umpleby said he now expects full-year results "to be better than we anticipated," during the company's prior conference call.

Shares slumped 5.7 percent in pre-market trading.

Source: AFP

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