Investors Buy Caterpillar (CAT) on Weakness

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Traders purchased shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) on weakness during trading hours on Monday. $151.15 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $101.97 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $49.18 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Caterpillar had the 15th highest net in-flow for the day. Caterpillar traded down ($0.98) for the day and closed at $142.38

A number of research firms have commented on CAT. UBS Group lowered Caterpillar from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $154.00 to $125.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 26th. Bank of America set a $152.00 target price on Caterpillar and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. Deutsche Bank lowered Caterpillar from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $152.00 to $128.00 in a research report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Zacks Investment Research raised Caterpillar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $157.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $165.00 target price on Caterpillar and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $146.71.

The stock has a market capitalization of $82.51 billion, a PE ratio of 12.27, a P/E/G ratio of 0.75 and a beta of 1.46. The company has a quick ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.78.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 24th. The industrial products company reported $2.94 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.84 by $0.10. Caterpillar had a return on equity of 45.31% and a net margin of 11.23%. The company had revenue of $13.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.36 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.82 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Caterpillar Inc. will post 12.19 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 20th. Investors of record on Monday, April 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.86 per share. This represents a $3.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.50%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 18th. Caterpillar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.66%.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC boosted its stake in Caterpillar by 5.5% during the 4th quarter. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC now owns 17,174 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,182,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. Kanawha Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Caterpillar by 6.2% during the 4th quarter. Kanawha Capital Management LLC now owns 29,053 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,692,000 after purchasing an additional 1,697 shares during the last quarter. Lehman & Derafelo Financial Resources LLC purchased a new stake in Caterpillar during the 4th quarter valued at $305,000. Physicians Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in Caterpillar by 11.9% during the 1st quarter. Physicians Financial Services Inc. now owns 17,855 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,419,000 after purchasing an additional 1,895 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in Caterpillar by 1.9% during the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 7,379,026 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $937,652,000 after purchasing an additional 134,479 shares during the last quarter. 67.07% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)

Caterpillar Inc manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines. Its Construction Industries segment offers asphalt pavers, compactors, cold planers, feller bunchers, harvesters, motorgraders, pipelayers, road reclaimers, skidders, telehandlers, and utility vehicles; backhoe, knuckleboom, compact track, multi-terrain, skid steer, and track-type loaders; forestry and wheel excavators; and site prep and track-type tractors.

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