Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $92.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential upside of 6.25% from the company’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Caterpillar’s Asia Pacific sales increased 2% in Aug, the first positive reading since November 2012 while sales lagged in other regions. Also, in the Construction Industries, Asia Pacific remains a consistent bright spot with a 12% increase, the best performance this year and marking its sixth consecutive month of growth. The EAME construction industry is also improving, with positive growth in three of the past four months. Further, leading indicators of U.S. non-residential construction signal robust conditions ahead for the domestic construction industry. Further, in line with its efforts to cut down costs, reduce capacity in the wake of lower demand, Caterpillar is shifting production from its Belgium facility. This, along with other restructuring actions, and share repurchases will help the mining behemoth to stay afloat. Also, the company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”
A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on CAT. Citigroup Inc. set a $82.00 price objective on shares of Caterpillar and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Vetr upgraded shares of Caterpillar from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $79.15 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Jefferies Group raised their price objective on shares of Caterpillar from $69.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Axiom Securities restated a “sell” rating and set a $31.00 price objective on shares of Caterpillar in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “market perform” rating and set a $78.50 price objective on shares of Caterpillar in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.49.
Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) opened at 86.59 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $82.80 and its 200 day moving average is $77.92. The firm has a market cap of $50.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 57.73 and a beta of 1.64. Caterpillar has a 12-month low of $56.36 and a 12-month high of $86.66.
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.13. Caterpillar had a net margin of 2.64% and a return on equity of 12.37%. The business earned $10.34 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.06 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.27 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 16.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Caterpillar will post $3.50 earnings per share for the current year.
In other Caterpillar news, Director Dennis A. Muilenburg purchased 1,930 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 29th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $82.75 per share, for a total transaction of $159,707.50. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 9,558 shares in the company, valued at $790,924.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Bradley M. Halverson sold 2,841 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.73, for a total transaction of $235,035.93. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 20,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,673,793.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Caterpillar by 0.5% in the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 6,197 shares of the company’s stock valued at $491,000 after buying an additional 32 shares during the last quarter. PGGM Investments raised its position in shares of Caterpillar by 0.5% in the first quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 746,041 shares of the company’s stock valued at $57,102,000 after buying an additional 3,696 shares during the last quarter. Athena Capital Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Caterpillar by 1.1% in the first quarter. Athena Capital Advisors LLC now owns 8,041 shares of the company’s stock valued at $615,000 after buying an additional 91 shares during the last quarter. Vicus Capital raised its position in shares of Caterpillar by 8.6% in the first quarter. Vicus Capital now owns 6,630 shares of the company’s stock valued at $507,000 after buying an additional 525 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Douglas Lane & Associates LLC acquired a new position in shares of Caterpillar during the first quarter valued at about $718,000. Institutional investors own 69.03% of the company’s stock.
Caterpillar Inc is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The Company operates through its three product segments: Resource Industries, Construction Industries, and Energy & Transportation. It also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment.
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