NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Caterpillar  (CAT) - Get Caterpillar Inc. Report rose 0.36% to $85.92 in afternoon trading Monday ahead of the construction equipment manufacturer's fourth-quarter earnings report on Tuesday before the market open.

The consensus estimate calls for Caterpillar to post earnings of $1.55 a share on revenue of $14.18 billion. In the fourth quarter last year, the company reported EPS of $1.58, which soundly beat the consensus estimate of $1.28, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue totaled $14.402 billion, which surpassed analysts' expectations of $13.639 billion.

In the third quarter of 2014, Caterpillar reported EPS of $1.72, which easily beat the consensus estimate of $1.36. Revenue totaled $13.549 billion, which beat analysts' expectations of $13.189 billion.

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TheStreet Recommends

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CATERPILLAR INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CATERPILLAR INC (CAT) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Machinery industry and the overall market, CATERPILLAR INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • CATERPILLAR INC has improved earnings per share by 12.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CATERPILLAR INC reported lower earnings of $5.75 versus $8.49 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.55 versus $5.75).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Machinery industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 7.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $946.00 million to $1,017.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CAT Ratings Report

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