Caterpillar Posts Sales That Beat Expectations

Caterpillar Inc. continues to increase expectations for its sales and earnings and the maker of machinery keeps surpassing them.

The company, based in Deerfield, Illinois, projected sales for 2017 of $44 billion, marking the third consecutive increase in its projections for annual revenue. It raised as well its forecast for earnings.

Caterpillar via a prepared statement on Tuesday said that sales for the third quarter ended at $11.4 billion, which were higher than estimates by analysts as well as last year for the same period of $9.15 billion.

Estimates for earnings at Caterpillar increased 22% over the last three months, which by far were the most on the Dow Jones, amidst signs there was strong improvement in demand in mining as well as sales in China of its construction equipment.

Shares of Caterpillar were the second best Dow performer. CEO Jim Umpleby, who took the reins in January, has CAT on track for its first gain in annual sales in the last five years.

An analyst on Wall Street said that the key, large markets should be on recovery mode action, in a big way following what was a difficult past four years. The dealer stats for each month show there is sufficient evidence that revenue recovery at CAT is moving along at a strong pace.

On Monday, Caterpillar announced that its sale of retail machines for its three months ending in late September expanded at their fastest rate since 2012, which added more evidence that a recovery for the company has gathered more steam.

The heavy machinery makers posted sales declines in the double-digit percent each month during the two years through the end of 2016.

During July, Caterpillar forecasted sales for 2017 of between $42 billion and $44 billion. The company said at that time it was expecting profit per share of $3.50, which was the midpoint of its sales range.

Excluding one-off items, profit for the third quarter reached $1.95 per share, which was higher than expectations of $1.25 by analysts.

Shares of CAT were up 16% during its third quarter. They were already up by over 7% before official trading opened on Tuesday.

The machinery company said that it continues seeing strength across many industries as well as regions, including North America, on shore gas and oil, increased mining capital investments and construction across China.