Stock traders buy large volume of call options on Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)


Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT – Get Rating) was the recipient of some unusual options trades on Friday. Traders bought 62,272 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 162% from the average daily volume of 23,812 call options.

Caterpillar stock up 5.5%

Caterpillar shares opened at $198.25 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt ratio of 1.48. The company’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/earnings ratio of 16.62, a PEG ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.00. Caterpillar has a 12-month low of $167.08 and a 12-month high of $237.90.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT – Get Rating) last announced its quarterly results on Thursday, April 28. The industrial products company reported earnings per share of $2.88 for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimate of $2.66 by $0.22. The company posted revenue of $13.60 billion for the quarter, versus $13.49 billion expected by analysts. Caterpillar had a return on equity of 35.10% and a net margin of 12.33%. The company’s quarterly revenue increased 14.4% year over year. During the same period of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $2.87. Equity research analysts expect Caterpillar to post earnings per share of 12.62 for the current year.

Caterpillar increases its dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 19. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 20 will receive a dividend of $1.20 per share. This represents a dividend of $4.80 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 is Tuesday, July 19. Caterpillar’s dividend payout ratio is currently 40.23%.

Insider Buying and Selling at Caterpillar

In other news, insider Joseph E. Creed sold 2,757 shares of the company in a trade dated Wednesday, May 18. 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. Separately, director David Maclennan purchased 600 shares of the company in a transaction dated Thursday, May 5. The stock was purchased at an average price of $219.82 per share, with a total value of $131,892.00. Following completion of the transaction, the administrator now directly owns 2,480 shares of the company, valued at $545,153.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available on the SEC’s website. Additionally, insider Joseph E. Creed sold 2,757 shares of the company in a trade dated Wednesday, May 18. The stock was sold at an average price of $214.13, for a total value of $590,356.41. The disclosure of this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the shares are held by insiders of the company.

Hedge funds weigh on Caterpillar

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently increased or reduced their stakes in the company. Crewe Advisors LLC increased its stake in Caterpillar by 322.6% in the fourth quarter. Crewe Advisors LLC now owns 131 shares of the industrial products company worth $27,000 after buying 100 more shares in the last quarter. Nauset Wealth Management. LLC bought a new position in Caterpillar during Q1 worth $29,000. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI bought a new position in Caterpillar during Q1 worth $33,000. Sierra Capital LLC bought a new position in Caterpillar during Q4 worth $38,000. Finally, Core Alternative Capital increased its stake in Caterpillar by 786.4% in the 1st quarter. Core Alternative Capital now owns 195 shares of the industrial products company valued at $43,000 after buying an additional 173 shares last quarter. 67.44% of the shares are held by institutional investors.

Wall Street analysts predict growth

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut its price target on Caterpillar from $240.00 to $227.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a Wednesday, July 13 report. Citigroup cut its price target on Caterpillar from $225.00 to $190.00 in a Thursday, July 7 report. Credit Suisse Group set a price target of $226.00 on Caterpillar in a Tuesday, July 19 report. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its price target on Caterpillar from $250.00 to $205.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a Tuesday, July 12 report. Finally, Cowen reduced its price target on Caterpillar from $255.00 to $225.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a Thursday, July 7 report. One analyst rated the stock with a sell rating, three gave the company a hold rating and twelve gave the company a buy rating. 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, graders, pipelayers, road reclaimers, site preparation tractors, skid steer loaders, telehandlers and utility vehicles; mini, small, medium and large excavators; compact, small and medium wheel loaders; crawler tractors and loaders; and wheel excavators.

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