While Goldman Sachs upgraded its rating on Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Report to neutral from sell on Monday, other analysts remain more hesitant to change their forecast at this time based on early signs of improvement in China and Europe.
Caterpillar shares spiked early this morning before diving more than 2% to as low as $76.20 apiece.
Longbow Research analyst Eli Lustgarten said Monday that shares are responding to industry speculation about a recovery in China, but the news hasn't caused the company follower to change his rating or pricing outlook.
"The catalyst you're seeing, and what other people are viewing, is that the world isn't getting worse," he said. "This is not something that's a surprise."
Lustgarten said things have stabilized in China, and are showing modest improvements, but he remains cautious in his near-term outlook.
Vertical Research Partners analyst Joe O'Dea said that while early signs of an improved Chinese construction segment are encouraging, his firm is certainly not modeling them as indications of a strong rebound.
"When you start to see growth, that is a positive development, but this isn't a prediction of a complete recovery," he said. "We are absolutely waiting to see how this plays out post some of the pre-buy influence."
While analysts said Caterpillar was cautiously optimistic about a Chinese recovery in its recent conference call, O'Dea said the company also walked away from a recent trade show in Europe seeing improvement in demand that it could carry forward.
Seeing Caterpillar maintain a cautious posture is certainly not a surprise O'Dea said. The company, which was broadsided in 2015 by a slowdown in Chinese construction as well as a commodity downturn that affected demand for large mining equipment, is waiting to see how commodity prices and other factors trend this year.
The company reported on April 22 that $1.6 billion of its year-over-year revenue decline came from its energy and transportation sectors, while construction was responsible for another $1 billion.
Nevertheless, Caterpillar stock has gained more than 31% in the past three months amidst a broader uptick in industrials. Goldman noted Monday that the machinery group has rallied 18% year to date.