NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.
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- CAT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- CATERPILLAR INC has improved earnings per share by 28.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CATERPILLAR INC increased its bottom line by earning $7.39 versus $4.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($9.70 versus $7.39).
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Machinery industry average. The net income increased by 29.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1,225.00 million to $1,586.00 million.
- Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Machinery industry and the overall market, CATERPILLAR INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- CAT has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 16.19% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.