Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Caterpillar Inc. Report shares jumped more than 2.5% on Monday, a day before it reports first-quarter financial results and just shortly after it reported its first global sales gain in four years on the strength of an almost 50% surge in Asian sales.
Caterpillar shares are up almost 13% over the past six months. Investors are hoping the stock can regain some momentum when it reports earnings on Tuesday before the open. It has been stuck at around $95 since mid-November.
"Caterpillar is very controversial," TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday. The company recently had an IRS investigation that he wants more information about.
There's a lot going on at Caterpillar this quarter, which is why Cramer said he does not want to come into the report with a short position in the stock.
Analysts expect the company to earn 62 cents per share on $9.26 billion in revenue for the most recent quarter.
The firm said total Asia Pacific sales rose 46% in March, representing a 56% jump in construction equipment sales, while mining equipment sales ticked up just 1%.
Total sales in the rest of the world softened versus a year-ago, as North and Latin American sales 34% and 53% respectively. Europe, Africa, and Mideast total March sales fell 3%.
On the mining side of the business only Europe, where sales rose 23%, grew.
Mining sales in Latin America fell the farthest, with a 53% decline.
Analysts expect the Illinois-based Caterpillar to post a 63 cents a share profit on revenues of $9.26 billion when it reports earnings Tuesday before the open.
J.P. Morgan analysts said they expect Caterpillar to increase its guidance for the full year 2017 based on the sales upswing.
Analysts at Cleveland Research expect global mining equipment sales could grow 8%-12% this year on strong demand in Asia and more infrastructure spending around the world.
Bret Kenwell contributed to this report.