Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 14,052 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 107% compared to the typical daily volume of 6,777 put options.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CAT. Wealthfront Inc. raised its stake in Caterpillar by 14.9% in the fourth quarter. Wealthfront Inc. now owns 15,340 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,423,000 after buying an additional 1,991 shares during the last quarter. High Point Bank & Trust Co. raised its stake in Caterpillar by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. High Point Bank & Trust Co. now owns 4,119 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $382,000 after buying an additional 155 shares during the last quarter. River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP purchased a new stake in Caterpillar during the fourth quarter worth $2,518,000. Dodge & Cox purchased a new stake in Caterpillar during the fourth quarter worth $5,287,000. Finally, Willis Investment Counsel raised its stake in Caterpillar by 7.1% in the fourth quarter. Willis Investment Counsel now owns 239,825 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $22,241,000 after buying an additional 15,950 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $123.00 target price on shares of Caterpillar in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Vetr downgraded shares of Caterpillar from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating and set a $86.90 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Robert W. Baird set a $102.00 target price on shares of Caterpillar and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded shares of Caterpillar from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating and set a $120.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 4th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation set a $120.00 target price on shares of Caterpillar and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $97.72.

Caterpillar (NYSE CAT) opened at 106.59 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $106.32 and its 200 day moving average is $99.06. Caterpillar has a 52 week low of $78.34 and a 52 week high of $110.00. The company’s market capitalization is $62.79 billion.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 25th. The industrial products company reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.66. The firm had revenue of $9.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.27 billion. Caterpillar had a positive return on equity of 16.46% and a negative net margin of 0.38%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Caterpillar will post $4.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, August 19th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, July 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.78 per share. This is an increase from Caterpillar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.77. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 18th. This represents a $3.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.93%. Caterpillar’s payout ratio is currently -1,155.51%.

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Caterpillar Company Profile

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