Will Caterpillar (CAT) Shares Be Hurt by Senate Tax Probe?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) could be adversely affected as the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations plans to hold hearings in early April on whether the company improperly evaded U.S. taxes, according to Bloomberg.

A Caterpillar employee has accused the company in 2009 of avoiding over $2 billion in U.S. taxes by using a "Swiss structure" to move profits to offshore companies. The firm would then return the money to the U.S by means of a "Bermuda structure" that involved shell companies, and avoiding paying taxes. 

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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 several positive factors, 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 increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. 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:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Machinery industry. The net income increased by 43.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $697.00 million to $1,003.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,580.00 million or 30.36% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CATERPILLAR INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 27.04%.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • CATERPILLAR INC has improved earnings per share by 48.1% 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 ($5.89 versus $5.75).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CAT Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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