Caterpillar's Profits Soar By 96 Percent

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Strong sales growth in developing countries pushed Caterpillar's third-quarter earnings 96 percent higher, and the world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment increased its outlook for this year. Caterpillar said Thursday it earned $792 million net income, or $1.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Strong sales growth in developing countries pushed Caterpillar's third-quarter earnings 96 percent higher, and the world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment increased its outlook for this year.

Caterpillar said Thursday it earned $792 million net income, or $1.22 per share, in the third quarter. That's well above the $404 million, or 64 cents per share, the Peoria, Ill., company reported last year.

The company, whose sales are considered a strong indicator of global economic health, says revenue jumped 53 percent to $11.13 billion from last year's $7.3 billion.

Caterpillar easily beat expectations of $1.09 earnings per share on revenue of $10.48 billion.

Caterpillar's shares gained $1.36, or 1.7 percent, to $81.24 in premarket trading after the report's release.

Caterpillar now expects to earn between $3.80 and $4 per share in 2010. Previously, it predicted earnings between $3.15 and $3.85 per share.

The maker of yellow-and-black equipment said economic growth in developing regions, such as Asia and South America, played a key role in the improved sales figures, but sales in developed nations, such as the United States, have improved from last year's low levels.

"While we are expecting positive economic growth in the United States, the recovery is weaker than we've seen historically, particularly given the depth of the 2009 recession. To drive economic growth, we encourage government policy makers to advance pro-business initiatives and a growth agenda," CEO Doug Oberhelman said.

The company also said it expects its revenue to approach $50 billion in 2011. That's higher than the $41 billion to $42 billion Caterpillar expects this year.

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