Taking a Look at the Operational Data for Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) is one of the more popular stocks investors are adding into their watchlist. Now trading with a market value of 99.10B, the company has a mix of catalysts and obstacles that spring from the nature of its operations. Everyone seems to have their own opinion of this stock. But what do the numbers really say? We think it’s a great time to take a fresh look.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) Fundamentals That Matter

It’s generally a good idea to start with the most fundamental piece of the picture: the balance sheet. The balance sheet health of any company plays a key role in its ability to meet its obligations and maintain the faith of its investment base. For CAT, the company currently has 202 million of cash on the books, which is offset by 11.09 billion in current liabilities. The trend over time is important to note. In this case, the company’s debt has been falling. The company also has 78.56 billion in total assets, balanced by 62.86 billion in total liabilities, which should give you a sense of the viability of the company under any number of imagined business contexts.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) saw 727 million in free cash flow last quarter, representing a quarterly net change in cash of -641 million. Perhaps most importantly where cash movements are concerned, the company saw about 1.24 billion in net operating cash flow.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) Revenue Growth Potential

As far as key trends that demonstrate something of the future investment potential of this stock, we need to take a closer look at the top line, first and foremost. Last quarter, the company saw 11.41 billion in total revenues. That represents a quarterly year/year change in revenues of 0.25 in sequential terms, the CAT saw sales decline by 0.01.

But what about the bottom line? After all, that’s what really matters in the end. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) is intriguing when broken down to its core data. The cost of selling goods last quarter was 7.75 billion, yielding a gross basic income of 3.66 billion. For shareholders, given the total diluted outstanding shares of 600.1 million, this means overall earnings per share of 1.76. Note, this compares with a consensus analyst forecast of 1.73 in earnings per share for its next fiscal quarterly report.

Is Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) Valuation Attractive

Looking ahead at valuations, according to the consensus, the next fiscal year is forecast to bring about 7.85 in total earnings per share. If we consider a median price to earnings ratio on the stock, that corresponds with a stock price of 20.62. However, one should always remember: the trends are more important than the forecasts. This continues to be an interesting story, and we look forward to updating it again soon on Caterpillar Inc..

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