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Caterpillar raises 2018 outlook on record Q2 profit

Caterpillar Inc. raised its full-year earnings outlook as it delivered record second-quarter profit, although it warned that U.S. import tariffs could impact material costs by up to $200 million in the second half.

The heavy equipment and machinery maker posted profit attributable to common shareholders of $1.71 billion, or $2.82 per share, in the three months to June, compared with $802 million, or $1.35 per share, in the year-ago period.

Adjusted earnings came in at $2.97 per share in the second quarter, up from $1.49 per share a year ago. The S&P Capital IQ consensus mean estimate for normalized EPS was $2.74.

Operating profit increased to $2.17 billion from $1.18 billion on the back of higher sales volume.

Sales and revenues rose to $14.01 billion from $11.33 billion, helped by increases in machinery, energy and transportation, and financial products. Sales were also higher due to currency impacts, primarily from a stronger euro and Chinese yuan, the company said.

Caterpillar repurchased $750 million of common stock during the second quarter.

The company said full-year 2018 profit per share is projected in the range of $10.50 to $11.50, up from earlier guidance of $9.75 to $10.75. Adjusted profit per share is estimated at $11.00 to $12.00, compared with a prior forecast of $10.25 to $11.25.

Caterpillar said recently imposed tariffs could impact material costs in the second half by approximately $100 million to $200 million. It also warned against continued supply chain challenges, although it plans to offset these through announced mid-year price increases.