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Caterpillar first quarter raises 2007 outlook

PEORIA, Ill. -- Despite weakness in two North American industries, Caterpillar set a first quarter record with sale...

PEORIA, Ill. — Despite weakness in two North American industries, Caterpillar set a first quarter record with sales and revenues of $10.016 billion.

The results are a 7% increase from $9.392 billion from last years first quarter. Cat also reported record first-quarter profit per share of $1.23, a $0.03 per share improvement from the first quarter of 2006.

“Our global reach, the breadth of our product line, the wide reach of the industries we serve and the strength of our diversified service businesses all contributed to our success in the first quarter, said Jim Owens, chairman and CEO. While we expected a sales decline in on-highway truck engines and US housing-related markets, the continued strength in most of the other industries we serve and exceptional growth outside North America helped us deliver good results in a tough quarter.”

The sales and revenue increase was a result of $896 million improvement in sales volume outside North America; $389 million of sales from Progress Rail, which was acquired in June 2006; $184 million of higher sales related to currency effects; $105 million of improved price realization; and $46 million of additional Financial Products revenues.

With the report of the first quarter results, Caterpillar has increased the 2007 outlook for sales and revenues and profit per share.

The company expects full-year sales and revenues in a range of $42 to $44 billion, up from $41.5 billion in 2006, and profit in a range of $5.30 to $5.80 per share, up from $5.17 per share in 2006. The previous outlook was for sales and revenues of $41.5 to $43.6 billion and profit per share of $5.20 to $5.70.

“With continued strength and diversity of the global industries we serve, our growing diversified service businesses, solid economic growth in the global economy and our focus on relentless execution, we are well positioned for continued success,” Owens said. “We’re working hard to execute our strategy and are well on our way to delivering our financial goals for 2010.”

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