Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Peoria, IL. CAT manufactures construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. It provides technology for construction, transportation, mining, forestry, energy, logistics, electronics, financing and electric power generation.
I bought shares of CAT on two occasions, in August 2013 and in February 2015. After my initial purchase, the stock shot up nicely but in summer of 2014 things turned around. CAT slid all the way down to about $58 before turning around and launching somewhat of a recovery.
This short article explains why I closed my CAT position.
In my latest (1) DivGro Pulse article, I concluded that it was time to part ways with CAT. The stock has made a decent comeback even after experiencing a 15% drop in revenue. I rate the stock 4-stars and it is ranked #36 out of 49 stocks in my DivGro portfolio.
I’m concerned about CAT’s near-term future (2), as revenue is expected to drop even further in 2017. Falling commodity prices in the farming, mining, and oil industries have caused deep cuts in equipment spending. CAT’s third-quarter results (3) were poor, with profits cut by nearly 50% and revenue down 16% from the year-ago quarter.
While Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT)’s aggressive cost-cutting measures have helped to mitigate the impact of lower sales, such measures can go only so far. Construction activity in North America is expected to be lower in the second half of 2016 and into 2017. In Europe, continuing uncertainty in light of the Brexit vote is cause for concern. In a statement accompanying the third-quarter results, the outgoing CEO, Doug Oberhelman said:
“While we are seeing early signals of improvement in some areas, we continue to face a number of challenges. We remain cautious as we look ahead to 2017, but are hopeful as the year unfolds we will begin to see more positive momentum. Whether or not that happens, we are continuing to prepare for a better future.”
Oberhelman will be replaced by a 35-year company veteran, Jim Umpleby, who will have to tackle the challenges the company will face in the near-term future.
With the stocks’ recent price action, I took the opportunity to sell my shares just above breakeven. Here is a 3-year price history chart of CAT that shows my buy and sell prices:
|2013-08-20||Bought: 30 shares of CAT at $83.625 per share:||$||2,508.75|
|2013-11-20||Dividend on 30 shares at 60¢ per share:||$||18.00|
|2014-02-20||Dividend on 30 shares at 60¢ per share:||$||18.00|
|2014-05-20||Dividend on 30 shares at 70¢ per share:||$||18.00|
|2014-08-20||Dividend on 30 shares at 70¢ per share:||$||21.00|
|2014-11-20||Dividend on 30 shares at 70¢ per share:||$||21.00|
|2015-02-02||Bought: 30 shares of CAT at $79.64 per share:||$||2,389.20|
|2015-02-20||Dividend on 60 shares at 70¢ per share:||$||21.00|
|2015-05-20||Dividend on 60 shares at 77¢ per share:||$||42.00|
|2015-08-20||Dividend on 60 shares at 77¢ per share:||$||46.20|
|2015-11-20||Dividend on 60 shares at 77¢ per share:||$||46.20|
|2016-02-22||Dividend on 60 shares at 77¢ per share:||$||46.20|
|2016-05-20||Dividend on 60 shares at 77¢ per share:||$||46.20|
|2016-08-22||Dividend on 60 shares at 77¢ per share:||$||46.20|
Sold 60 shares of CAT at $84.60 per share:
I made a net gain of 11.6% on the original amount invested, which is 4.7% annualized.
Closing my Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) position removed $184.80 from DivGro’s projected annual dividend income (PADI), which now totals $11,153. I still have some ways to go to reach my end-of-year goal of $12,000.
Thanks for reading! Do you own CAT and, if so, are you going to hold onto your shares or sell them?
Please let me know what you think in the comment section below.
Note: FerdiS manages and writes about DivGro, his portfolio of dividend growth stocks created in January 2013. Please visit divgro.blogspot.com.