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Cat Sees 2006 Sales Above Estimates

The company forecasts a top line of $41 billion.


(CAT) - Get Caterpillar Inc. Report

is forecasting sales of $41 billion for all of 2006 and at least that much for next year.

The Peoria, Ill., heavy-machinery maker is holding a meeting with analysts Friday and posted supporting materials on its Web site.

For 2007, revenue should be $41 billion to $43 billion, the company said.

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On the bottom line, Cat is looking for a profit of $5.05 to $5.30 a share this year and $5.18 to $5.70 next year.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial are calling for earnings of $5.21 a share and revenue of $39.4 billion in 2006.

For next year, analysts are forecasting a profit of $5.63 and a top line of $41.2 billion.

Further out, Cat said its goal for 2010 would be to produce revenue of $50 billion plus.

As for earnings, Cat is confident it can expand its annual earnings by 15% to 20%, which would put profits by 2010 at $8.13 to $10.05 a share.

Shares of Cat were down 14 cents to $60.42.