Navistar (NAV) revealed a strong fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday that widely trumped Wall Street expectations, as global sales increased and its engine business swung to a profit.

The Warrenville, Ill.-based maker of commercial and military trucks posted net income of $255 million, or $3.48 a share, compared with $44 million, or 61 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a profit of just $3.08 a share.  

Revenue for the three-month period was $4.3 billion, up from $3.37 billion a year ago, missing the Street’s view of $4.44 billion. Navistar also saw revenues from outside North America grow more than $3 billion.

The company saw gains across all of its business segments, with higher revenues and improved margins in its core North America truck business, sustained military sales and an engine unit that returned to profitability in the second half of the year.

“Not only did we deliver on 2011 commitments, we continued to invest in our strategy and set the foundation for a strong 2012,” Navistar CEO Daniel Ustian said in a statement.

Ustian said he expects the industry to continue its steady recovery, noting the company will continue to leverage its leading position in North America to invest in new products and expand globally.

Shares of Navistar were up 8.5% Tuesday morning on the news to $39.61, however it is still down 32% on the year.

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton