Caterpillar Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (NYSE:CAT)

Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) saw some unusual options trading on Thursday. Investors bought 14,052 put options on the company. This is an increase of 107% compared to the typical volume of 6,777 put options.

In other news, insider Bradley M. Halverson sold 182,612 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.05, for a total value of $20,826,898.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Suzette M. Long sold 13,859 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.30, for a total value of $1,584,083.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 18,188 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,078,888.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 201,471 shares of company stock valued at $22,979,332. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CAT. Howe & Rusling Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Caterpillar by 52.0% in the first quarter. Howe & Rusling Inc. now owns 1,087 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 372 shares in the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Caterpillar by 10.6% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 1,339 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Caterpillar during the second quarter valued at $104,000. Motco boosted its stake in shares of Caterpillar by 264.9% in the second quarter. Motco now owns 989 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 718 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Caterpillar during the first quarter valued at $107,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.27% of the company’s stock.

CAT has been the subject of several research analyst reports. TheStreet upgraded Caterpillar from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $118.00 price target (up previously from $105.00) on shares of Caterpillar in a research report on Saturday, April 29th. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 price target on shares of Caterpillar in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Vetr raised Caterpillar from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $107.75 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Caterpillar to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $107.15.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) traded up 0.69% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $113.92. The company had a trading volume of 3,875,693 shares. Caterpillar has a 12-month low of $79.93 and a 12-month high of $115.46. The stock has a market capitalization of $67.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 636.42 and a beta of 1.25. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $111.03 and a 200-day moving average price of $101.77.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The industrial products company reported $1.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.26 by $0.23. Caterpillar had a return on equity of 18.52% and a net margin of 0.27%. The firm had revenue of $11.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.96 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.09 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Caterpillar will post $5.24 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 $0.78 dividend. This is a boost from Caterpillar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.77. This represents a $3.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 18th. Caterpillar’s dividend payout ratio is presently 2,080.00%.

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