Caterpillar beats on Q1 EPS, revenue; shares up 4% ahead of the open

Global construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings and revenue figures on Thursday, sending its shares higher ahead of the opening bell.

Caterpillar said earnings per share came in at $1.61, beating expectations for earnings of $1.23 per share. The company’s first quarter revenue totaled $13.2 billion, above forecasts for revenue of $13.11 billion.

'Given the business and economic uncertainties around the world and continuing decline in our mining sales, I am pleased with our performance in the first quarter,” said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman.

The company's outlook for sales and revenues remains unchanged at $56 billion in a range of plus or minus 5%. However, there are a range of macro-economic and geo-political uncertainties that could slow the growth of global GDP and impact the sales of Caterpillar's products in 2014.

While the sales and revenues outlook range remains unchanged, the company is increasing its 2014 profit outlook by $0.25 per share.

Following the release of the report, shares in Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) rallied 4% in pre-market trade.

Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets remained higher. The Dow 30 indicated a gain of 0.4% at the open, the S&P 500 pointed to an increase of 0.6%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a rise of 1.6%.