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Caterpillar Just Gave a Huge Vote of Confidence to the Global Economy

  • First-quarter profit ‘will be the high watermark for year’
  • Stock rose earlier after machinery maker raised 2018 forecast
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Bloomberg Intelligence’s Karen Uberhart breaks down the Caterpillar numbers.(Source: Bloomberg)
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Caterpillar Inc. began the day euphorically, with shares rallying as the machinery giant beat earnings estimates and raised its own forecast. That all changed when management signaled the first quarter might be as good as it gets.

In its earnings statement, the biggest maker of construction and mining equipment lifted its 2018 profit projection by as much as 24 percent and flagged continued strength for North America construction and Chinese infrastructure. But on the call that followed, Chief Financial Officer Brad Halverson said first-quarter adjusted profit per share “will be the high watermark for the year.”