January 25, 2018 / 1:04 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Caterpillar profit beats again as sales surge 35 pct

 (Adds 2018 forecast, details)
    Jan 25 (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc         trounced
forecasts for profit for the seventh straight quarter on
Thursday as buoyant global demand and the recovery of
commodities markets drove a 35 percent surge in sales of its
construction and mining equipment.
    Shares in the world's largest heavy duty equipment maker
were up another 2.7 percent in premarket trading and have now
risen around 80 percent in the past year and 160 percent in the
past two.
    The company said it expected an adjusted profit of
$8.25-$9.25 per share for 2018, compared with analysts' average
estimate of $8.19, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
    A year ago, Caterpillar was seeking to temper expectations
for 2017, forecasting results well below analysts' forecasts. In
the event it has steadily raised its estimates for both
construction and mining sales over the course of the last year
as earnings again soared past expectations.
    While the bulk of the earnings recovery in 2017 was driven
by the company's construction division, a strengthening global
economy along with a rebound in commodities prices have boosted
the outlook for its other two divisions - resource industries
and energy & transportation.
    Oil prices have shot up to above $70 a barrel from below $30
two years ago, encouraging new investments in the sector, and
boosting demand for Caterpillar's oil and gas mining equipment.
    Mining activity has also picked up amid rising gold, iron
ore and copper prices, leading to higher demand from customers. 
   
    Like many U.S. companies this quarter, Caterpillar also said
it had taken a $2.4 billion charge related to recent U.S. tax
changes, widening its net loss before adjustments to $1.30
billion, or $2.18 per share, from $1.17 billion, or $2.00 per
share, a year earlier.             
    In adjusted terms, it made $2.16 per share compared to $0.83
per share a year ago.

 (Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru and Rajesh Kumar Singh
in Chicago; editing by Patrick Graham)
  
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