Caterpillar posts higher first-quarter profit, raises outlook

Reuters
A Caterpillar tractor lifts a piece of construction equipment in Somerville
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A Caterpillar tractor lifts a piece of construction equipment in Somerville, Massachusetts January 27, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc (CAT) on Thursday posted quarterly profit that topped estimates and raised its full-year outlook on a stronger-than-expected rebound in sales to the construction industry.

The world's largest maker of earth-moving machinery posted a first-quarter net profit of $922 million, or $1.61 a share, compared with $880 million, or $1.32 a share, during the comparable quarter last year.

With restructuring costs factored in, Caterpillar made a profit of $1.44 a share.

Revenue at the company, which also makes locomotives and diesel and turbine engines, was little changed year over year at $13.24 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected the company to report a profit of $1.24 a share on sales of $13.15 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Caterpillar raised its full-year earnings outlook to $6.10 per share, up from $5.85, citing growing demand from builders.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher in Detroit; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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