Briefly

Facebook makes $2.43 billion

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook Inc. on Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings of $2.43 billion.

On a per-share basis, the Menlo Park, California-based company said it had net income of 85 cents.

The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.66 per share.

The social media company posted revenue of $15.08 billion in the period, beating Street forecasts. Twelve analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $14.97 billion.

Facebook shares have risen 39 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed 17 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $182.59, a rise of 14 percent in the last 12 months.

Caterpillar beats 1Q forecasts

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Increased demand for construction equipment in North America helped push Caterpillar’s revenue 5% higher and the company beat forecasts.

Sales of new construction equipment in North America jumped 13% in the first quarter, primarily driven by road construction projects, Caterpillar said Wednesday.

Construction sales declines in Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East may have investors concerned as shares fell in morning trading.

Caterpillar, based in Deerfield, Illinois, reported first quarter net income grew 13% to $1.88 billion, or $3.25 per share, from the 2018 quarter. A benefit related to U.S. tax reform was worth $178 million, or 31 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to $2.94 per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.84 per share.

The construction equipment company said total revenue grew to $13.47 billion from $12.86 billion and also beat Street forecasts. Analysts expected $13.4 billion. Caterpillar said the revenue boost was partially offset by unfavorable currency impacts due to the stronger dollar.

Citing the tax benefit, the company increased its full-year outlook to between $12.06 and $13.06 per share from a range of $11.75 to $12.75 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast $12.16 per share in annual profit.

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