"We believe there is upside potential to the implied earnings per share figure," Edelson wrote in a note to investors. "We also note the record sales expectations despite still lackluster construction activity in the U.S. and Europe."
For the full year 2011, Caterpillar earned $4.93 billion, or $7.40 per share, up from $2.7 billion, or $4.15 per share, in 2010. Sales and revenue increased to $60.14 billion from $42.59 billion.
Excluding Bucyrus, Caterpillar earned $7.79 per share and posted $57.61 billion in sales.