Time to Stop Ignoring This Stock

Yes, it's true. I've fallen in love with this Big Cat! And I'm sure you will be in line, too, after finding out how this company has fared recently.

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) has bowled the Street over with all-time-high third-quarter revenues and a staggering bottom-line jump. What's more, management has also raised its full-year guidance. Given this pace, perhaps Cheetah would be a better name for the company.

Roaring ahead
Caterpillar seems to be striking gold with its business reach. Demand for its equipment shot up in all geographic regions, taking its revenues to a peak of $15.7 billion, up a whopping 41% from the third quarter of last year. Not surprisingly then, Cat's order backlog is also sitting pretty at an all-time high.

A strong mining sector and a construction boom in emerging markets have boosted not just Cat's revenues, but also those of similar players. Cummins' (NYSE: CMI  ) third-quarter sales, for instance, were up 36% year over year, primarily driven by these factors. Emerging markets also drove up Manitowoc's (NYSE: MTW  ) crane segment's sales by 20.7% in its third quarter.

As revenues touched the skies, Cat's bottom line soared to $1.14 billion, up an astounding 44% from last year.

Bigger and bigger
Cat has been spreading its wings far and wide, especially in the emerging markets. The company has its eyes well set on these markets, which helped push up its equipment sales in the last quarter.

Big Cat lovers must be aware of how the company is showering attention on China and other emerging markets. From big R&D expansions in China to joining hands with power companies targeting international power projects, Cat is leaving no stone unturned as far as gaining stronger traction in these fast-growing regions is concerned.

Cat has also recently extended its relationship with Navistar International (NYSE: NAV  ) , and the two are about to finalize the terms of a new business venture for developing new lines of trucks to be sold globally.

Moving the earth a little more
Mining is turning out to be Cat's forte. The Bucyrus acquisition is adding a lot of value to Cat's mining portfolio and its top line. It contributed $1.14 billion to Cat's sales in the third quarter.

Cat is now charging ahead to bank on the mining boom opportunities. The company has shown a deeper mining focus through a new factory in Taiwan producing underground mining equipment. There's still plenty of competition in the space with other mining equipment giants like Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG  ) . Both Joy and Cat share common focus areas -- mining and China. However, this mining thrust could well be Cat's key to maintaining its lead in the mining equipment market.

The Foolish bottom line
An upbeat mining sector and higher construction activity in developing markets should pave the way for rising demand for Cat's equipment. With the company expecting higher sales in 2012, its production should go up, too. This also indicates the possibility of additional hiring. Cat has been bucking the trend lately by hiring at a time when many companies are laying off.

Any doubts now about why I call this company the king of the jungle? Cat is leaping ahead on all fronts, and I sure would not want to let this company pass.

In case you still haven't added Caterpillar to your stock watchlist, do it now by clicking here.

Neha Chamaria does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Joy Global. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Cummins. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 28, 2011, at 5:37 PM, prginww wrote:

    The underground equipment factory is in Thailand, not Taiwan.

  • Report this Comment On October 29, 2011, at 1:03 AM, GETRICHSLOW2 wrote:

    Cat has also purchased General Motors' railroad locomotive business. They now compete with General Electric in this segment. Considering that is one business G.E. has not tried to sell, it must be a good one.

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