Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) has had a hard time the past few years and the need for heavy equipment has faltered. Better results and the election of Donald Trump, however, have driven its shares higher Shares are up 41% to $95.81
Caterpillar has overwhelmingly outperformed the Dow (DJIA), which has risen 9.9% to 19,152. Over five years, the Dow is up 59% while CAT is flat
The third quarter was an example of CAT’s malaise. The company reported:
…profit per share of $0.48 for the third quarter of 2016, a decrease from $0.94 per share in the third quarter of 2015. Excluding restructuring costs, profit per share was $0.85, down from $1.05 per share in the third quarter of 2015. Third-quarter 2016 sales and revenues of $9.2 billion were down 16 percent from $11.0 billion in the third quarter of 2015.
“Economic weakness throughout much of the world persists and, as a result, most of our end markets remain challenged. In North America, the market has an abundance of used construction equipment, rail customers have a substantial number of idle locomotives, and around the world there are a significant number of idle mining trucks,” said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman. “However, there were a few bright spots this quarter. Both the construction industry and our machine market position improved in China. Most commodity prices, while low, seem to have stabilized. Parts sales have increased sequentially in each of the last two quarters. Our machine market position and quality remain at high levels and our work on Lean and restructuring are continuing to help us lower costs.
Investors.com explained the surge which offset revenue performance anxiety:
Caterpillar (CAT) and other large industrial companies’ shares jumped Wednesday on Donald Trump’s victory as infrastructure, oil and gas and coal mining projects could jump start under the new president.
Caterpillar shares soared 7.7% to 91.20 in the stock market today, jumping out of buy range and hitting its best levels since the end of 2014.
Trump has said he would remove “job-destroying” regulations on coal and other energy sources in his first 100 days in office and would “cancel” the Paris climate pact.
Caterpillar has been moving away from some coal services businesses but still has large coal mining equipment operations. It also produces construction equipment.