Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) – Jefferies Group upped their FY2018 earnings estimates for Caterpillar in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. Jefferies Group analyst S. Volkmann now expects that the industrial products company will post earnings of $8.25 per share for the year, up from their prior estimate of $7.85. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Caterpillar’s FY2019 earnings at $9.00 EPS.

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on CAT. Vetr upgraded shares of Caterpillar from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $164.34 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday. Citigroup restated a “neutral” rating and set a $185.00 target price (up from $160.00) on shares of Caterpillar in a research note on Friday. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and set a $189.00 target price (up from $158.00) on shares of Caterpillar in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on shares of Caterpillar from $160.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on shares of Caterpillar from $155.00 to $192.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. Caterpillar currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $156.64.

Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) opened at $170.41 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.58, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.44. The stock has a market cap of $101,380.00, a PE ratio of 118.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 1.29. Caterpillar has a one year low of $90.34 and a one year high of $173.24.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.68. The company had revenue of $11.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.69 billion. Caterpillar had a net margin of 2.09% and a return on equity of 23.22%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.85 earnings per share.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Beach Investment Management LLC. acquired a new stake in shares of Caterpillar in the second quarter valued at approximately $231,000. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its holdings in shares of Caterpillar by 9.8% in the third quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 48,071 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $5,995,000 after acquiring an additional 4,291 shares during the period. Wealthsource Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Caterpillar in the second quarter valued at approximately $316,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Caterpillar by 18.5% in the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 152,100 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $18,979,000 after acquiring an additional 23,749 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC boosted its holdings 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 acquiring an additional 2,052,300 shares during the period. 68.55% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, insider Lange Bob De sold 1,572 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.58, for a total value 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Bradley M. Halverson sold 2,600 shares of the company’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 value of $357,942.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 5,214 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $717,811.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 52,989 shares of company stock valued at $7,235,850 over the last ninety days. 0.14% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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

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Caterpillar Company Profile

Caterpillar Inc is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The Company operates through segments, including Construction Industries, which is engaged in supporting customers using machinery in infrastructure, forestry and building construction; Resource Industries, which is engaged in supporting customers using machinery in mining, quarry, waste and material handling applications; Energy & Transportation, which supports customers in oil and gas, power generation, marine, rail and industrial applications, including Cat machines; Financial Products segment, which provides financing and related services, and All Other operating segments, which includes activities, such as product management and development, and manufacturing of filters and fluids, undercarriage, tires and rims, ground engaging tools, fluid transfer products, and sealing and connecting components for Cat products.

Earnings History and Estimates for Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)

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