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 up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Caterpillar fell $1.02 (-1.1%) to $95.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, 8.8 million shares of Caterpillar exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of six million shares. The stock ranged in price between $94.66-$96.28 after having opened the day at $95.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $96.60. Other companies within the Industrial industry that declined today were: Unifi ( UFI), down 8.5%, Compx International ( CIX), down 5.4%, LSI Industries ( LYTS), down 5.4%, and Highpower International ( HPJ), down 5%.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

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 $63.33 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine 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 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 high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Terex ( TEX), up 12.7%, Edwards Group ( EVAC), up 10.4%, Cleantech Solutions International ( CLNT), up 8.1%, and Columbus McKinnon Corporation ( CMCO), up 7.8%, were all gainers within the industrial industry with General Electric ( GE) 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).

It's Official: Action Alerts PLUS beats the S&P 500 with Dividends Reinvested! Cramer and Link were up 16.72% in 2012. Were you? See what they are trading for 14-days FREE.