Caterpillar results beat expectations but forecasts weak year

Caterpillar results beat expectations but expects weak yearCaterpillar (NYSE:CAT), the world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment, logged Thursday a better-than-expected quarterly profit, but the company doesn’t think it will be this strong for the rest of 2015.

Cat’s earnings soared more than 20% in the first three months of the year to $1.11 billion from $922 million a year earlier, even though revenue slipped.

Earnings per share increased to $1.81 from $1.44. Analysts had forecast earnings of $1.35 for the latest quarter.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, CEO Doug Oberhelman said he was pleased with the results, but warned the company was unlikely to repeat this quarter’s results for the remainder of the year, as it is going to be a “challenging” one.

Despite the not too-bright outlook, the Peoria-based firm raised its full-year earnings forecast, as North American sales improved and its energy and transportation business sold a greater volume of machinery.

As a global supplier of construction and mining equipment, Caterpillar is considered a reliable bellwether of economic activity.

That is why many were not happy to hear the machinery giant maintained its earlier forecast that sales for the full year will total about $50 billion, down 9% from 2014.

After an initial jump, the company’s shares were down to $85 cents or 0.33% at noon ET on the news.