Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) are up almost 3% Monday and 12.6% over the past six months. Investors are hoping the stock can regain some momentum when it reports earnings on Tuesday before the open. It has been stuck at around $95 since mid-November.
"Caterpillar is very controversial," TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday. The company recently had an IRS investigation that he wants more information about.
Along with being controversial, Cramer doesn't expect the quarterly report to be very good. Management has eluded to this fact as well, he noted.
But there are positives. Caterpillar has reduced its costs and has been realigning its dealer-network. These are steps in the right direction, but the kicker could come from coal.
Coal -- a tough business for most companies in the past -- could be surprisingly good for Caterpillar. Its coal equipment business is similar to Joy Global's (JOY) business, which just reported very good numbers, Cramer reasoned.
There's a lot going on at Caterpillar this quarter, which is why Cramer said he does not want to come into the report with a short position in the stock.
Analysts expect the company to earn 62 cents per share on $9.26 billion in revenue for the most recent quarter.