Earnings at plant giant Caterpillar increased by a third during the third quarter of 2005 but fell below market expectations.
The New York Stock Exchange-listed firm said operating profits rose to £377 million against £282 million at the same stage last year.
Turnover increased 17 per cent to £5 billion against £4.3 billion in the third quarter last year. Analysts had projected - on average - that revenue would reach £4.79 billion.
Shares in Caterpillar fell by 6.5 per cent on the news, closing down $1.40 to end at $54.03.
Caterpillar forecast a 20 per cent rise in sales for this year, and profit growth for 2006 was projected by the company at about 15 to 25 per cent above its revised 2005 outlook.
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