Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) have received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-nine analysts that are covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, ten have given a hold recommendation and fifteen have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average twelve-month price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $148.24.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on CAT shares. Wells Fargo & Co set a $150.00 price objective on Caterpillar and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Tigress Financial reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Caterpillar in a report on Monday, September 18th. UBS Group upgraded Caterpillar from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $116.00 to $140.00 in a report on Monday, September 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Caterpillar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $142.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group increased their price objective on Caterpillar from $143.00 to $158.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 9th.

Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) traded up $1.10 during trading on Monday, hitting $170.30. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,127,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,702,400. Caterpillar has a 12 month low of $90.34 and a 12 month high of $170.67. The company has a market capitalization of $101,320.00, a P/E ratio of 118.26, a P/E/G ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.58.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.68. Caterpillar had a return on equity of 23.22% and a net margin of 2.09%. The company had revenue of $11.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.69 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.85 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Caterpillar will post 6.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 20th. Investors of record on Monday, January 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.78 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, January 19th. This represents a $3.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.83%. Caterpillar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 216.67%.

In related news, insider Lange Bob De sold 1,572 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.58, for a total transaction of $216,275.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 11,096 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,526,587.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas A. Pellette sold 24,547 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $135.69, for a total value of $3,330,782.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 52,989 shares of company stock valued at $7,235,850 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.14% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Caterpillar by 6.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 41,225,175 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $4,430,058,000 after buying an additional 2,377,623 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of Caterpillar by 11.7% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 19,613,661 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,107,684,000 after buying an additional 2,052,300 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Caterpillar by 10.9% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,058,115 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $328,625,000 after buying an additional 301,739 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its position in shares of Caterpillar by 0.4% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,955,916 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $368,648,000 after buying an additional 11,745 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC lifted its holdings in Caterpillar by 140.9% during the 3rd quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 2,627,319 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $327,653,000 after purchasing an additional 1,536,470 shares during the last quarter. 68.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Analyst Recommendations for Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)

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