Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) Short Interest Update

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) was the target of a large growth in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 11,473,981 shares, a growth of 47.9% from the January 15th total of 7,760,457 shares. Approximately 1.9% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 6,829,122 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.7 days.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its holdings in shares of Caterpillar by 6,835.4% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 9,054,500 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $71,000 after buying an additional 8,923,946 shares during the period. Sanders Capital LLC acquired a new position in Caterpillar during the fourth quarter worth about $422,262,000. Capital Research Global Investors increased its holdings in Caterpillar by 289.4% in the 3rd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 3,934,537 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $599,978,000 after acquiring an additional 2,924,169 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management boosted its position in shares of Caterpillar by 3,805.2% during the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 620,926 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $78,901,000 after purchasing an additional 605,026 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners lifted its stake in shares of Caterpillar by 323.4% in the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 738,367 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $93,824,000 after purchasing an additional 563,996 shares during the last quarter. 68.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NYSE:CAT opened at $133.10 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $78.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.86, a PEG ratio of 0.58 and a beta of 1.46. Caterpillar has a 52 week low of $112.06 and a 52 week high of $164.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.78, a current ratio of 1.37 and a quick ratio of 0.96.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last announced its earnings results on Monday, January 28th. The industrial products company reported $2.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.98 by ($0.43). Caterpillar had a net margin of 11.23% and a return on equity of 45.31%. The business had revenue of $14.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $14.36 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.16 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Caterpillar will post 12.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 20th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 22nd will be issued a $0.86 dividend. This represents a $3.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.58%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 18th. Caterpillar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.66%.

CAT has been the subject of several analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on Caterpillar to $160.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, February 4th. UBS Group set a $154.00 price target on Caterpillar and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Robert W. Baird set a $161.00 price target on Caterpillar and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Bank of America set a $152.00 price objective on shares of Caterpillar and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, William Blair reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Caterpillar in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $151.50.

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About Caterpillar

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

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