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March Construction Spending Rises

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce reports that construction spending during March was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $768.9 billion, 1.4 percent (±1.6 percent) above the revised February estimate of $758.6 billion. The March figure is 6.7 percent (±1.8 percent) below the March 2010 estimate of $824.0 billion.

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Vulcan Announces First Quarter Results

Vulcan Materials reported that aggregates shipments declined approximately 3 percent in the first quarter of 2011, reflecting varied market conditions in its markets. Net earnings were a loss of $55 million, or $0.42 per diluted share. The quarter's results include income of $0.08 per diluted share from discontinued operations as well as $0.12 per diluted share for the insurance arbitration award to the company for recovery of settlement costs and legal costs related to the lawsuit settled last year with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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TRIP Releases Missouri Report

A new report finds that additional transportation funding has allowed Missouri to accelerate bridge repair and replacement, pavement improvements, and safety upgrades. However, deficiencies remain on Missouri’s surface transportation system and recent gains could be lost without continued support for transportation maintenance, improvement and expansion.

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Caterpillar First-Quarter Profit up 426 Percent

Caterpillar exceeded all expectations with a first-quarter 2011 profit of $1.225 billion compared with a profit of $233 million in the first quarter of 2010. That is an improvement of 426 percent. The increase was primarily a result of significantly higher sales volume. Price realization was favorable, but the impact was more than offset by higher manufacturing, selling, general and administrative and research and development expenses. In addition, $90 million of the improvement was due to the absence of a tax charge from the first quarter of 2010 related to enactment of U.S. health care legislation.

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MDU Resources Reports Improved First Quarter

MDU Resources Group Inc. reported first quarter consolidated earnings of $42.8 million, or 23 cents per common share, compared to $41.6 million, or 22 cents per common share for the first quarter of 2010.

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