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Caterpillar Inc (CAT): Today's Featured Conglomerates Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Caterpillar (CAT) pushed the Conglomerates sector lower today making it today's featured Conglomerates laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Caterpillar fell $1.21 (-1.3%) to $94 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.6 million shares of Caterpillar exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $93.57-$95.19 after having opened the day at $94.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $95.21. Another company within the Conglomerates sector that decreased today was MGT Capital Investments (MGT), down 9%.

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Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. Caterpillar has a market cap of $62.07 billion and is part of the conglomerates industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Caterpillar a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Caterpillar as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the conglomerates sector could consider SPDR Trust Series one (SPY) while those bearish on the conglomerates sector could consider ProShares Short S&P 500 (SH).

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