The Dow's Top 5 Laggards in March

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Caterpillar ( CAT), Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), Alcoa ( AA), Chevron ( CVX) and United Technologies ( UTX) were the worst-performing stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in March.

The Dow gained 1.79%, or 231.74 points, to 13,212.04 during the month.

Caterpillar shares fell 6.06% to $106.52 in March. The mining and construction equipment company said in an 8-K filing that its sales in North America, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region increased in February but at a slower pace than they did the previous month.

Caterpillar has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 9.38 times; the average for commercial vehicle and truck companies is 20.58. For comparison, Deere ( DE) has a higher forward P/E of 9.49..

Nineteen of the 26 analysts who cover Caterpillar rated it buy; seven analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Caterpillar an A grade with a buy rating and a $122.45 price target.

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Hewlett-Packard shares fell 5.62% in March to $23.83. The company raised its dividend in March to 13 cents a share from 12 cents, but some called the boost reckless given that the company seems to have limited prospects.

HP's forward P/E is 5.42 times; the average for computer hardware companies is 16.04. For comparison, Dell's ( DELL) forward P/E is 7.47X.

Sixteen of the 33 analysts who cover HP rated it hold. Twelve analysts gave the stock a buy rating and five rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives HP a C+ grade and hold rating.


Shares of Alcoa fell 2.43% in March to $10.02. In the news in March, Alcoa and Saudi Arabian company Ma'aden announced that they are trying to extend the project mix that will come from their Saudi Arabian aluminum.

Alcoa's forward P/E is 10.81 times; the average for aluminum companies is 10.29.. For comparison, Kaiser Aluminum's ( KALU) forward P/E is 13.02.

Ten of the 21 analysts who cover Alcoa rated it hold. Eight analysts gave the stock a buy rating and three rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Alcoa a C grade and hold rating.

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Chevron shares dropped 2.32% to $107.21 in March. The energy company has been plagued by its oil spill in Brazil late last year, with prosecutors looking at criminal charges against some executives.

Shares of Chevron hit a 52-week high on March 14 of $112.28. The stock's 52-week low of $86.68 was set on Oct. 4.

Chevron's forward P/E is 8.04 times; the average for integrated oil and gas companies is 8.02. For comparison, Exxon Mobil ( XOM) has a forward P/E of 9.64.

Nineteen of the 27 analysts who cover Chevron rated it buy. Seven analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Chevron an A grade with a buy rating and a $130.36 price target.


Shares of United Technologies fell 1.45% to $82.94 in March. The European Union is looking closely at the industrial company's acquisition of Goodrich.

United Technologies' forward P/E is 12.54 times; the average among its peers is 12.05..

Twenty of the 25 analysts who cover United Technologies rated it buy; five analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives United Technologies an A- grade with a buy rating and $95.08 price target.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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