See How Caterpillar Ranks Among Analysts' Top Dow 30 Picks

A study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages shows that Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) is the #26 broker pick, on average, out of the 30 stocks making up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to ETF Channel. Within the broader S&P 500, when components were ranked in terms of analyst favorites, CAT claims the #365 spot.

In forming this rank, the analyst opinions from the major brokerage houses were tallied, and averaged; then, the underlying components were ranked according to those averages. Investors often interpret analyst opinions from different angles — when companies have a low rank among analysts, it isn't necessarily the case that investors should conclude that the stock will perform poorly. It can, of course, but a bullish investor could also take the contrarian angle and read into the data that there is lots of room for upside because the stock is so out of favor.

START SLIDESHOW:
15 Forgotten Giants of the S&P 500: Analysts' Current Least Favorites »
From the other direction, a popular analyst pick could mean that many sharp minds individually came to the same bullish conclusion, and therefore the stock should do well, but it could also mean that if the company stumbles, that would come as a negative surprise.

For these reasons, we at ETF Channel find value to putting together these rankings, because both the top and the bottom ends of the list can often make for some interesting stock picking ideas for further research.

START SLIDESHOW:
The Top 15 Broker Darlings of the Dow: Current Top Analyst Picks »

Below is a chart of rank over time: Loading+chart++2014+TickerTech.com

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, CAT makes up 3.88% of the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) which is trading up by about 0.5% on the day Thursday.

CAT operates in the Construction sector, among companies like Deere & Co. (DE) which is up about 0.2% today, and United Rentals, Inc. (URI) trading up by about 0.6%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of CAT, versus DE and URI.

CAT,DE,URI Relative Performance Chart

CAT is currently trading down about 0.2% midday Thursday.

More from Stocks

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO: We Aren't the Same Abercrombie You Once Knew

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO: We Aren't the Same Abercrombie You Once Knew

Amazon Wants to Use Your Car as a Mobile Warehouse - Here's What That Could Mean

Amazon Wants to Use Your Car as a Mobile Warehouse - Here's What That Could Mean

Chipotle's New CEO Has Set its Path for Redemption

Chipotle's New CEO Has Set its Path for Redemption

TheStreet Is About to Hold the BEST Institutional Investor Conference of 2018

TheStreet Is About to Hold the BEST Institutional Investor Conference of 2018

Twitter's Turnaround Continues but Investors Don't Seem Entirely Convinced

Twitter's Turnaround Continues but Investors Don't Seem Entirely Convinced