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It’s Off to the Races at Caterpillar

I hang on every word that comes out of the mouth of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) CEO Jim Owens. His company sells the bulldozers, heavy trucks, and diesel engines that are the required tools for miners and drillers to rip their essential resources out of the ground around the world. I have been following this company for nearly four decades now, back when they used to give analysts these neat yellow baseball caps with a big black “C.” Confidence is on the rebound, especially in emerging markets, and the company is ramping up its production as fast as it can. It raised its revenue forecast for the year to $40 billion, up 25% from last year’s soggy performance. At the depths of last year’s recession, CAT had 30,000 workers on furlough. The company is a wonderful “tell” on the state of the global economy, with 36% of its revenues coming from North America, 26% from Europe, 22% from Asia and the Pacific, and 12% from Latin America. Asian production is already back up to full capacity. Sales to home builders are still weak. Small and medium sized mining companies have been at the forefront placing orders, with the big firms still sitting on their hands. CAT is suddenly sold out of product for the rest of this year! It all adds up to GDP growth for the US this year of 3.0%-3.5%, and weaker performance in Europe and Japan. Overall developed nation growth is still well below normal. This all leads me to conclude that the long term future for commodities producing companies is great. You might also buy CAT on the next decent dip.