Traders Buy Caterpillar (CAT) on Weakness

Investors purchased shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday. $294.88 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $259.67 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $35.21 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Caterpillar had the 32nd highest net in-flow for the day. Caterpillar traded down ($0.56) for the day and closed at $165.87

CAT has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co set a $150.00 target price on shares of Caterpillar and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note 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 research note on Monday, September 18th. UBS Group upgraded shares of Caterpillar from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the company from $116.00 to $140.00 in a research note on Monday, September 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Caterpillar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $142.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised their target price on shares of Caterpillar from $143.00 to $158.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $147.72.

The stock has a market cap of $101,340.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 117.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.58, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.44.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.68. The firm had revenue of $11.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.69 billion. Caterpillar had a net margin of 2.09% and a return on equity of 23.22%. The business’s revenue was up 24.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS. research analysts expect that Caterpillar Inc. 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. Shareholders of record on Monday, January 22nd will be issued a $0.78 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, January 19th. This represents a $3.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.84%. Caterpillar’s dividend payout ratio is currently 216.67%.

In other news, insider Bradley M. Halverson sold 2,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.67, for a total transaction of $357,942.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 5,214 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $717,811.38. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Bradley M. Halverson sold 17,210 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.33, for a total transaction of $2,363,449.30. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 7,814 shares in the company, valued at $1,073,096.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 52,989 shares of company stock worth $7,235,850. Insiders own 0.14% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CAT. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in 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 acquiring an additional 2,377,623 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in 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 acquiring an additional 2,052,300 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in 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 acquiring an additional 301,739 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in 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 acquiring an additional 11,745 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC increased its stake in Caterpillar by 140.9% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 2,627,319 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $327,653,000 after acquiring an additional 1,536,470 shares during the last quarter. 68.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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