Shares of Caterpillar ran up 5.7% in premarket trade Thursday, after the construction and mining equipment maker reported profit and sales that were well above expectations, and raised its earnings outlook for the year. Net earnings rose to $1.02 billion, or $1.63 a share, from $946 million, or $1.45 a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding non-recurring items, per-share earnings were $1.72, above the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of $1.34. Revenue increased to $13.55 billion from last year's $13.42 billion, topping analyst forecasts of $13.21 billion. The company now expects 2014 earnings per share of $6.50, up from a previous forecast of $6.20, and above analyst projections of $6.27. The stock, a component of the Dow industrials, has gained 4.1% so far this year, while the Dow has slipped 0.7%.
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