After watching Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) stock gain more than 8% over the past three months, investors may be wondering whether there's room for more upside. After all, the mining industry is yet to show any signs of revival, and just days back, bellwether Alcoa (NYSE:AA) sounded the warning for a key end market that Caterpillar's energy and transportation business caters to.
Investors will perhaps have an answer to where the stock's headed when Caterpillar reports its second-quarter numbers this approaching Thursday.
But irrespective of whether Caterpillar delivers a hit or a miss, investors should look beyond its top- and bottom-line numbers before deciding a course of action. That's because there are far more important metrics and factors that could give a better picture of what lies ahead for the company, and that's where your attention should be this week.
I've highlighted three such factors in the slideshow presentation below that you should watch for in Caterpillar's upcoming earnings report. If the company doesn't show promise in these three areas, its shares could reverse gear.