Caterpillar sales growing faster than predicted

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) announced today that it sold $11.4 billion in the third quarter of the year and therefore crushed its previous estimates, and that it also raised its full-year forecast for sales and earnings, expecting revenue in its mining business to jump ~30% and construction business to surge 20%.

In a press release published on Tuesday, the Illinois-based company said that demand has increased in every place where it operates and, thus, projected 2017 sales would be of $44 billion, up from an initial estimate of $42 billion. Such figure would mark a third-straight increase in annual revenue projections.

China is CAT’s bright spot when it comes to construction equipment. "Our current estimate for 2017 is for the 10-ton-and-above excavator industry in China to more than double vs. last year, which would result in sales that are higher than our estimate of normal replacement demand for the region," CFO Brad Halverson said in a conference call with the media.

CAT officials also noted that mining customers across the world are investing heavily in machinery, as is the North American oil and gas industry. “Higher sales volume and our team's focus on cost discipline resulted in improved profit margins across our three primary segments,” CEO Jim Umpleby said in the written statement.

Following the announcement, the company's shares climbed 6.6 per cent to $140.39 at 9:06 a.m. in New York, and stood at $137.63 at 11:26 a.m.

For the full year of 2017, Caterpillar now expects profit per share of about $4.60, or adjusted profit per share of about $6.25. The previous outlook for 2017 profit was about $3.50 per share at the midpoint of the sales and revenues outlook, or adjusted profit per share of about $5.00.