Caterpillar beats profit estimates, raises forecast

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FILE PHOTO: A row of excavators are seen at the Caterpillar booth at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. March 9, 2017. REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

(Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc beat analysts’ estimates for first-quarter profit on higher sales of its construction and mining equipment in its biggest market North America.

The heavy-duty equipment maker, a bellwether for economic activity whose results often influence global stock market sentiment, also raised its full-year profit forecast as it booked a tax gain in the first quarter stemming from President Donald Trump’s tax reforms.

The company’s shares were up 1 percent in premarket trading. The latest quarter results come off a disappointing showing in the fourth quarter, which was hit by a sharp slowdown in China.

Sales in North America rose 7 percent, driven by a 13 percent rise in sales of construction equipment.

The company reported an adjusted profit of $2.94 per share in the first quarter, compared with $2.82 a share, last year. Analysts on average had expected earnings of $2.85 a share.

Total sales and revenue rose about 5 percent to $13.5 billion.

The company said it now expects 2019 profit of $12.06