Why BofA Is Sidelined On Caterpillar

A call with Caterpillar Inc’s CAT largest equipment dealer in Australia was encouraging, but the lack of a pickup in resource industries remains a concern, according to BofA Securities.

The Caterpillar Analyst: Ross Gilardi maintained a Neutral rating on Caterpillar with a $155 price target.

The Caterpillar Thesis: Caterpillar shares have appreciated in recent weeks on signs of acceleration in global growth, but Australian mining represents less than 2% of total sales, Gilardi said in a Friday note.

"We didn’t see any evidence of a broader pickup in Resource Industries in this week’s dealer sales,” the analyst said.

The Australian equipment dealer WesTrac said it's bagging about 75% of autonomous deals in Australia on the basis of Caterpillar's technology and service offering, he said. 

WesTrac’s backlog has more than doubled to $1.2 billion this year Gilardi said.

"Overall Resource Industries (RI) sales have declined 27% on a trailing three-month basis through August versus 19% decline in July.”

Among large-cap Industrial names, the analyst said he prefers Deere & Company DE, which can work in a pro-value or growth environment.

CAT Price Action: Shares of Caterpillar were trading down 0.89% at $152.50 at last check Friday.

Related Link: Why Caterpillar's Stock Is Trading Lower Today

Posted In: AustraliaBofA SecuritiesminingRoss GilardiAnalyst ColorPrice TargetReiterationAnalyst Ratings