• Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Report, the construction and mining equipment maker, reported a fourth-quarter profit of $1.55 billion, or $2.32 a share.
  • Revenue was $17.24 billion.
  • Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.73 a share on revenue of $16.05 billion.
  • In the year-earlier fourth quarter, Caterpillar earned $968 million, or $1.47 a share, on revenue of $12.81 billion.
  • Caterpillar raised its revenue outlook for 2012, saying it now expects revenue of $68 billion to $72 billion. Profit is expected to be about $9.25 a share; analysts forecast $9.07 a share.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

shares rose Thursday as fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts' expectations and it raised its 2012 guidance.

Caterpillar earned $1.55 billion, or $2.32 a share, in then fourth quarter, bearing average analysts' expectations of $1.73 a share.

Revenue rose 35% from the prior year to $17.24 billion, a quarterly record, with machinery and power system sales totaling about $16.6 billion.

Caterpillar's 2011 profit was $4.9 billion, or $7.40 a share, up 83% from the previous year.

Revenue for 2011 was $60.1 billion, an increase of 41% from 2010. Sales grew in each region -- North America posted a sales increase of 35%, while Europe, Africa and the Middle East saw sales rise 47%.

The company projected 2012 profits of $9.25 a share, above analysts' estimates of $9.07 a share.

Shares of Caterpillar rose 2.8%, or $3.08, to $112.12 in trading midday Thursday.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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