Caterpillar Inc. raised its annual expectations after announcing first-quarter sales and revenues of $9.8 billion, compared with $9.5 billion in the first quarter of 2016.
The company said its first-quarter profit per share was 32 cents, compared with 46 cents in the first quarter of 2016. Profit for the quarter was $192 million, compared with $271 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Excluding restructuring costs, first-quarter 2017 profit per share was $1.28, double the first-quarter 2016 profit per share, excluding restructuring costs, of 64 cents.
“Our team delivered outstanding operational performance and, for the first time in more than two years, same-quarter sales and revenues increased,” Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby said in a statement.
“We’re also benefiting from our significant cost reduction and restructuring actions, which have improved cash flow and further strengthened an already healthy balance sheet,” he said. “With this momentum we will continue to focus investment on improving our competitive position by investing in new technologies and improving our productivity to deliver profit growth and shareholder value.”
Although Caterpillar said it had strong first-quarter performance and is seeing signs of recovery in several of the industries it serves, geopolitical and market uncertainty, along with volatility in commodity prices, continue to present risks for the rest of the year.
In January Caterpillar provided an outlook range for sales and revenues for the full year of $36 billion to $39 billion with a midpoint of $37.5 billion.
As a result of a stronger than expected start to the year, the company’s expectations for full-year sales and revenues have increased. The current sales and revenues outlook is now a range of $38 billion to $41 billion, with a midpoint of $39.5 billion.
For the full year, Caterpillar expects profit per share of about $2.10 at the midpoint of the sales and revenues outlook range, or about $3.75 a share, excluding restructuring costs.
The previous outlook for 2017 profit per share was about $2.30 at the midpoint of the sales and revenues outlook, or about $2.90, excluding restructuring costs.