Caterpillar Net Falls on Higher Materials Costs

Updated from 7:46 a.m. EDT

Caterpillar ( CAT) reported third-quarter earnings of $868 million, or $1.39 a share, 2 cents below the estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, as higher manufacturing costs, primarily for materials, hurt profits.

Sales in the quarter rose to $13 billion, up 13% from a year earlier. Caterpillar said Tuesday the geographic mix of sales continued to shift outside North America with sales and revenues increasing 22%, in other regions compared with 3 % inside North America. Sales and revenues outside North America represent 60% of the total in the third quarter, up from 56% a year earlier.

Earnings a year ago were $927 million, or $1.40 a share.

The equipment manufacturer maintains its full-year outlook for 2008, saying it expects sales and revenues to top $50 billion, up from $45 billion in 2007, and profit of $6 a share, up from $5.37 a share in 2007.

Caterpillar shares were trading down 1% at $40.50 Tuesday morning.

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