Stock Traders Purchase Large Volume of Call Options on Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)

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Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CATGet Rating) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Friday. Traders purchased 62,272 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 162% compared to the average daily volume of 23,812 call options.

Caterpillar Stock Up 5.5 %

Shares of Caterpillar stock opened at $198.25 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $194.06 and its 200-day simple moving average is $205.35. The stock has a market capitalization of $105.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.62, a PEG ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.00. Caterpillar has a twelve month low of $167.08 and a twelve month high of $237.90.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CATGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The industrial products company reported $2.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.66 by $0.22. The business had revenue of $13.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.49 billion. Caterpillar had a return on equity of 35.10% and a net margin of 12.33%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.87 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Caterpillar will post 12.62 earnings per share for the current year.

Caterpillar Increases Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 19th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 20th will be given a dividend of $1.20 per share. This represents a $4.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.42%. This is a boost from Caterpillar’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.11. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 19th. Caterpillar’s dividend payout ratio is presently 40.23%.

Insider Buying and Selling at Caterpillar

In other news, insider Joseph E. Creed sold 2,757 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $214.13, for a total value of $590,356.41. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. In related news, Director David Maclennan bought 600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 5th. The stock was bought at an average price of $219.82 per share, with a total value of $131,892.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,480 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $545,153.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph E. Creed sold 2,757 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $214.13, for a total value of $590,356.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Caterpillar

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Crewe Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Caterpillar by 322.6% in the 4th quarter. Crewe Advisors LLC now owns 131 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $27,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Nauset Wealth Management. LLC bought a new position in Caterpillar during the 1st quarter valued at $29,000. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI bought a new position in Caterpillar during the 1st quarter valued at $33,000. Sierra Capital LLC bought a new position in Caterpillar during the 4th quarter valued at $38,000. Finally, Core Alternative Capital boosted its stake in Caterpillar by 786.4% during the 1st quarter. Core Alternative Capital now owns 195 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $43,000 after purchasing an additional 173 shares in the last quarter. 67.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reduced their price target on Caterpillar from $240.00 to $227.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Citigroup reduced their price target on Caterpillar from $225.00 to $190.00 in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Credit Suisse Group set a $226.00 price target on Caterpillar in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price target on Caterpillar from $250.00 to $205.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Cowen reduced their price target on Caterpillar from $255.00 to $225.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, July 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Caterpillar currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $231.00.

About Caterpillar

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Caterpillar Inc manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines worldwide. Its Construction Industries segment offers asphalt pavers, backhoe loaders, compactors, cold planers, compact track and multi-terrain loaders, excavators, motorgraders, pipelayers, road reclaimers, site prep tractors, skid steer loaders, telehandlers, and utility vehicles; mini, small, medium, and large excavators; compact, small, and medium wheel loaders; track-type tractors and loaders; and wheel excavators.

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