Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $98.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective points to a potential upside of 11.90% from the company’s previous close.
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.”
A number of other analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on shares of Caterpillar from $78.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Vetr raised shares of Caterpillar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $96.01 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday. Jefferies Group boosted their target price on shares of Caterpillar from $72.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised shares of Caterpillar from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $76.00 to $112.00 in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $92.00 price objective on shares of Caterpillar in a research note on Monday, October 3rd. Three equities 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 company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $76.48.
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Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) opened at 87.58 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $84.11 and its 200 day moving average is $78.87. The stock has a market cap of $51.17 billion, a PE ratio of 58.39 and a beta of 1.54. Caterpillar has a 12 month low of $56.36 and a 12 month high of $89.87.
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.13. The firm earned $10.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.06 billion. Caterpillar had a net margin of 2.64% and a return on equity of 12.37%. The business’s revenue was down 16.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.27 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Caterpillar will post $3.50 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, November 19th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 24th will be given a dividend of $0.77 per share. 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 3.52%. Caterpillar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 165.59%.
In other Caterpillar news, Director Dennis A. Muilenburg bought 1,930 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 29th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $82.75 per share, for a total transaction of $159,707.50. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 9,558 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $790,924.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Bradley M. Halverson sold 2,841 shares of the 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 transaction, the insider now owns 20,232 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,673,793.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CAT. Prospera Financial Services Inc raised its position in shares of Caterpillar by 17.5% in the third quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc now owns 5,666 shares of the company’s stock worth $503,000 after buying an additional 845 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Caterpillar by 3.7% in the third quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 248,895 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,094,000 after buying an additional 8,975 shares during the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its position in shares of Caterpillar by 1.8% in the third quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 48,721 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,325,000 after buying an additional 838 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC raised its position in shares of Caterpillar by 30.8% in the third quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 14,606 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,297,000 after buying an additional 3,443 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Baker Boyer National Bank purchased a new position in shares of Caterpillar during the third quarter worth $222,000. Hedge funds and other 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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