Caterpillar sales rise in 1Q on continued equipment demand

Caterpillar’s first-quarter sales climbed with demand for construction equipment surging in the face of supply chain challenges that continue to plague businesses from car and phone makers to grocery stores.

Sales rose 14% to $13.59 billion, topping the $13.5 billion that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were looking for. Higher prices also fueled revenue numbers.

Construction industry sales increased 12%, propelled by increased prices, changes in dealer inventories and higher end-user demand for aftermarket parts.

Sales in the resource industries division jumped 30% on higher sales volume and higher prices. The sales volume was impacted by better demand for equipment and aftermarket parts and changes in dealer inventories.

Housing demand has been on fire during the pandemic as millions of people relocated or buy a first home, but rising mortgage rates may start to dampen that. A run-up in rates is setting the stage for a slowdown in home sales this year as increased borrowing costs reduce would-be buyers’ purchasing power.

Caterpillar Inc. earned $1.54 billion, or $2.86 per share, for the three months ended March 31.

Stripping out certain items, earnings were $2.88 per share. Wall Street expected $2.66 per share.

Shares of the Deerfield, Ill., company rose slightly before the market opened today.