Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning. The firm currently has $98.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Caterpillar is poised to benefit from the steady growth in construction activities. Asia Pacific is improving consistently, logging a 12% increase in Aug, the best performance this year and marking its sixth consecutive month of growth. The EAME construction industry has also witnessed positive growth in three of the past four months. Also, leading indicators of U.S. non-residential construction signal robust conditions ahead for the domestic construction industry. 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 as well as share repurchases will help the mining behemoth to weather the weak mining environment. Also, the company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”
Several other brokerages have also commented on CAT. Vetr raised Caterpillar from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $88.01 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, October 6th. Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $92.00 price objective on shares of Caterpillar in a report on Monday, October 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised Caterpillar from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $76.00 to $112.00 in a report on Tuesday. Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on Caterpillar from $72.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on Caterpillar from $78.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Caterpillar presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $76.48.
Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) traded up 0.92% during trading on Thursday, reaching $87.77. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,731,031 shares. The company has a market cap of $51.28 billion, a PE ratio of 58.51 and a beta of 1.54. The company has a 50 day moving average of $84.22 and a 200 day moving average of $78.93. Caterpillar has a 12-month low of $56.36 and a 12-month high of $89.87.
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.13. The business earned $10.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.06 billion. Caterpillar had a return on equity of 12.37% and a net margin of 2.64%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 16.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.27 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Caterpillar will post $3.50 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, November 19th. Investors of record on Monday, October 24th will be issued a $0.77 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 20th. This represents a $3.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.54%. Caterpillar’s payout ratio is 165.59%.
In other news, Director Dennis A. Muilenburg purchased 1,930 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 29th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $82.75 per share, for a total transaction of $159,707.50. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 9,558 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $790,924.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Bradley M. Halverson sold 2,841 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.73, for a total value of $235,035.93. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 20,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,673,793.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. National Pension Service raised its stake in shares of Caterpillar by 8.6% in the third quarter. National Pension Service now owns 379,939 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,727,000 after buying an additional 30,246 shares during the last quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. purchased a new stake in shares of Caterpillar during the third quarter worth about $220,000. Private Trust Co. NA raised its stake in shares of Caterpillar by 44.8% in the third quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 6,812 shares of the company’s stock worth $604,000 after buying an additional 2,107 shares during the last quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Caterpillar by 2.8% in the third quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 145,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,943,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd raised its stake in shares of Caterpillar by 2.3% in the third quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 177,817 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,784,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.03% of the company’s stock.
Caterpillar Company Profile
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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