Caterpillar Inc (CAT): Today's Featured Industrial Laggard

Editor's Note: 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.

Caterpillar ( CAT) pushed the Industrial industry lower today making it today's featured Industrial laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Caterpillar fell 85 cents (-1%) to $82.73 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5.3 million shares of Caterpillar exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $82.52-$84.14 after having opened the day at $84.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $83.58. Other companies within the Industrial industry that declined today were: A123 Systems ( AONE), down 33.3%, Allegheny Technologies ( ATI), down 11.5%, Highpower International ( HPJ), down 6.8%, and Kennametal ( KMT), down 6.7%.
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Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. Caterpillar has a market cap of $55.58 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.7, below the average conglomerates industry P/E ratio of 9.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Caterpillar a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Caterpillar as a buy. 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, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Chase Corporation ( CCF), up 11.6%, Avery Dennison ( AVY), up 8.4%, Plug Power ( PLUG), up 8.3%, and China Valves Technology ( CVVT), up 8.2%, were all gainers within the industrial industry with Mohawk Industries ( MHK) being today's featured industrial industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the industrial industry could consider SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DIA) while those bearish on the industrial industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Industrials ( SIJ).

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