By MICHELLE CHAPMAN
AP Business Writer
Caterpillar’s first-quarter sales climbed as construction equipment demand continues to surge even though supply chain challenges still plague most industries. Sales rose 14% to $13.59 billion, topping the $13.5 billion that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were looking for. Aside from improved demand for equipment, Caterpillar said higher prices also helped its results. Caterpillar earned $1.54 billion, or $2.86 per share, for the three months ended March 31. Stripping out certain items, earnings were $2.88 per share. Wall Street expected $2.66 per share.