Crawling profits for Caterpillar

International plant firm, Caterpillar, clocked a fourth-quarter profit increase of 4% in 2006 as higher operating costs partially offset strong sales

International plant firm, Caterpillar, clocked a fourth-quarter profit increase of 4% in 2006 as higher operating costs partially offset strong sales.

Net income grew to US $882 million, or $1.32 per share, up from $846 million, or $1.20 per share, a year ago but fell short of analysts' expectations.

But sales during the quarter surged by 14% to $11 billion, lifted by a 13% jump in machinery sales, and a 17% rise in engine sales.

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