Caterpillar Inc. shares jumped 3% in premarket trade Thursday, after the maker of construction, energy and mining equipment blew past estimates for its first quarter. Caterpillar said it had net income of $1.530 billion, or $2.77 a share, in the quarter, up from $1.092 billion, or $1.98 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.87, well ahead of the $1.94 FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $11.9 billion from $10.6 billion a year ago, also ahead of the $10.9 billion FactSet consensus. “The increase was due to higher sales volume driven by higher end-user demand and the impact from changes in dealer inventories,” the company said in a statement. “Dealers increased their inventories more during the first quarter of 2021 than during the first quarter of 2020.” Shares have gained 27.6% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 10.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 11.4%.
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