Atlantic Equities downgraded Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) to underweight from neutral and cut its earnings estimates on the heavy-equipment maker, saying weak first-half economic data could mean slower second-half demand.
"Against the backdrop of a slowing U.S. economy, continued weakness in Europe and slower ... growth in China, where industrial production for May registered its slowest pace since the early 1990s, we are concerned that demand from dealers and customers will begin to pull back in second-half 2019," analyst Richard Radbourne in London said in a multi-industry report.
Radbourne pared his Caterpillar earnings-per-share estimates to $12 for fiscal 2019 and $11.25 for fiscal 2020. That brings his figures 3% and 14% below consensus, respectively.
To be sure, in a June 20 interview with Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money," Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby said the company was "very comfortable still meeting our forecast" in the face of U.S.-China trade tensions.
Since a 2017 strategy assessment, management at the Deerfield, Illinois, company has fattened the company's operating margins and strengthened its services business, the CEO said. Umpleby was named CEO in January 2017.
Radbourne cut his target price on Caterpillar $110 from $135. The stock on Friday closed up 0.2% at $133.89 on the New York Stock Exchange.