Caterpillar Drops Despite 2Q Earnings Beat

Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) fell almost 2.8% on Friday despite beating 2Q earnings estimates. Its 2Q adjusted earnings of $1.03 per share exceeded analysts’ estimates of $0.64. Moreover, revenues of $10 billion surpassed Street estimates of $9.38 billion. However, the company’s outlook for dealer inventories weighed on its stock.

During the second quarter, dealers reduced inventories for new equipment by $1.4 billion. The company now anticipates dealer inventories to decline by over $2 billion in 2020, up from its previous estimate of $1.5 billion.

Following 2Q earnings, Oppenheimer analyst Noah Kaye reiterated his Hold rating on the stock. He said, “While decrementals of 32% were consistent with our cross-cycle analysis, sales in construction, mining, and E&T broadly showed resilience.”

On July 24, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Stanley Elliott lifted the price target to $150 (12.9% upside potential) from $135 and reaffirmed a Buy rating. Elliott highlighted several “recent data points that suggest some upside relative to expectations for the machinery business.” He argued, “The results of component supplier Carlisle Brake & Friction, as well as Volvo Construction Equipment trends that were better than feared, suggest potential upside to Q2 and Q3 sell-side expectations, particularly in Caterpillar’s machinery segments.”

Overall, CAT analysts have a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus on the stock. The average analyst price target stands at $139.89, implying 5.3% upside potential from current levels. (See CAT stock analysis on TipRanks).

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