Caterpillar’s first-quarter earnings have risen five per cent, and the construction equipment maker has raised its 2014 forecast.
But the company also says a mining equipment sales slump is still hurting results.
The company now expects 2014 earnings of $US6.10 per share excluding restructuring costs. That’s up from its previous forecast for $US5.85 per share and well above Wall Street expectations.
Analysts expected earnings of $US5.72 per share, on average, according to FactSet.
Caterpillar said it earned $US922 million ($A996.11 million), or $US1.44 per share, in the quarter that ended March 31. That compares to $US880 million, or $US1.31 per share, last year.
Earnings totaled $US1.61 per share, excluding restructuring costs. Total revenue was nearly flat at $US13.24 billion.
Analysts forecast earnings of $US1.21 per share on $US13.09 billion in revenue.
Caterpillar also makes power systems that include large electrical generators and locomotive engines.
A downturn in heavy equipment used in mining hit the company hard last year, when its profit tumbled about 33 per cent to $US3.79 billion. Mining gear generates higher profit margins for Caterpillar than many other parts of its business.
As sales of large tractors and mining loaders slumped last year, Caterpillar shut plants and cut jobs. But strong results in construction and power systems have helped make up for the shortfall in mining.
Caterpillar said it continued to see low order rates for mining equipment, the main component of its “Resource Industries” business.
“The company expects mining orders will begin to improve at some point, but not likely in time to increase Resource Industries’ sales in 2014,” Caterpillar said in a statement announcing its earnings.