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Two giants of industry, Boeing and Caterpillar, announce first-quarter results Wednesday before the market bell. Both companies raised guidance for the year during the first quarter, noting that analysts' estimates were too low and strong demand would push sales higher in 2012.
Typically, industrial companies like Boeing and Caterpillar follow the economic cycle, sometimes trailing the broader rebound of the stock market. This has been the case following the recent recession, as each company has seen its largest customers finally boost spending and thus drive net growth in the latter part of the recovery. Caterpillar has reported revenue growth of 37%, 41%, and 35% in the past three periods, showing tremendous growth both domestically and in emerging markets. U.S. operations seem to be clicking on all cylinders, but investors should pay close attention to China in particular. Caterpillar could provide the first glimpse into the outlook for China's formerly booming housing market.
Boeing's exposure abroad is no less profound. The company sells to 90 countries around the globe and has experienced robust demand recently because of a steady uptick in passenger and freight traffic. Airlines need to replace their old jets with newer, more efficient aircraft, and Boeing has indicated that it can handle the backlog to avoid losing sales out to competition.
Similar to other Dow components, international growth is critical to watch. Boeing and Caterpillar could be great buys, but there are three companies whose international growth stories we're particularly bullish on. Uncover them in our special free report: "3 Companies Set to Dominate the World." The report won't be available forever, so we invite you to enjoy a free copy today. You can access it by clicking here. Enjoy, and Fool on!
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