Cummins Inc. is feeling more comfortable about overall profitability this year after posting 39% higher first-quarter net earnings of $97 million on 21% higher total sales of $2.68 billion compared to the same period in 2005.

Based on its first-quarter performance, the company said it now expects to earn between $12.40 and $12.60 a share in 2006, up from its original guidance of $11.90 to $12.10 per share.

Chairman & CEO Tim Solso pointed out that Cummins’ engine segment enjoyed its most profitable quarter ever. Earnings before taxes and interest rose 53% to $179 million on 23% higher engines sales of $1.82 billion, led by 22% higher global heavy-duty truck engine shipments, 35% higher bus engine shipments, 29% higher construction truck and equipment engine shipments, and 36% higher light-duty truck and automotive engine shipments.