The world's largest heavy machinery maker said net income for the fourth quarter was $1.55 billion, or $2.32 per share, compared with $968 billion, or $1.47 per share, a year ago. That result was 59 cents above the analysts' average estimate of $1.73 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 35 percent to $17.24 billion, above Wall Street estimates of $16.05 billion.
The performance caps a record year of profits and revenue for the company as it recorded surging sales in most markets around the world.
Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar forecast 2012 earnings above current Wall Street estimates.
(Reporting By John Stoll; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)