Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) Stock Up 9% In 3 Weeks, Expected To Continue Climbing In Q2 As Economic Recovery Gains Momentum

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Caterpillar Machines
Caterpillar machines in North Reading, Mass.

Investors with a one- to two-year time horizon would be well-advised to buy shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), the world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment, thanks to a share buyback, a reviving U.S. economy, more fiscal stimulus by non-U.S. governments and the stock's relatively low price, financial magazine Barron's said.

On April 22, CEO Doug Oberhelman said the recent decline in the Caterpillar stock price combined with balance sheet strength and positive cash flow has provided an opportune time to resume the stock repurchase program. The Peoria, Ill., company plans to buy back $1 billion of its stock during Q2. The 9 percent gain beats the 4 percent gain for the whole S&P 500 over the same period.

Last week's unemployment report eased concerns that the U.S. economy's recovery was slowing. Further, various government stimulus initiatives outside the U.S. will boost demand for the company's products, Michael Jaffe, equity analyst with Standard & Poor's, said.

"We see the replacement of aging construction equipment in North America and the ongoing urbanization of emerging markets aiding results as 2013 progresses," Jaffe said. "We also expect better commodity prices and the greater use of coal for electric generation to eventually boost mining markets."

Barron's also said Caterpillar has made progress cutting costs and noted that its inventories are declining.

Caterpillar shares, which were $87.40 in afternoon trading, are up 9 percent since mid-April when it dipped close to its 52-week low ahead reporting disappointing Q1 earnings and lower expectations for 2013. 

 

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