Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest maker of construction equipment, raised its 2012 profit forecast on Wednesday and said that despite pockets of weakness, the global economy was improving.
The strong outlook came after Caterpillar posted a quarterly profit that easily beat Wall Street's expectations, sending the company's stock up 4 percent.
Fiscal improvement is still needed in Asia, Latin America and North America, but steps toward a healthier global economy have already begun, Caterpillar Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman said.
"While we're expecting a record year in 2012, we understand the world is facing economic challenges, and if it becomes necessary, we are prepared to act quickly," Oberhelman said in a statement. "The good news is, this doesn't feel like 2008."
The company reported a second-quarter profit of $1.67 billion, or $2.54 per share, compared with $1.02 billion, or $1.52 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average expected earnings of $2.28 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 21 percent to $17.37 billion. Analysts expected $17.11 billion.
The company now expects to earn $9.60 per share in 2012, up from a previous forecast of $9.50.
For the year, analysts expect a profit of $9.54 per share.
Shares of Caterpillar rose 4 percent to $84.65 in premarket trading.
© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.