Caterpillar Stock Crawls Lower After Downgrade

The analyst also cut its price target to $93 from $107

Deputy Editor
Apr 27, 2020 at 11:01 AM
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Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) are down 2.5% to trade at $111.11, after a downgrade from Morgan Stanley to "underweight" from "equal weight," and a price-target cut to $93 from $107. The analyst predicted increasing pressure from a multi-year downturn in U.S. non-residential construction, as well as historically weak oil and mining commodity prices.

While CAT enjoyed an impressive rebound off its March 12 low of $87.50, it lost steam just below its 180-day moving average in early April. The stock has since gapped back below its 50-day moving average, which is creating even more pressure on the charts. Currently, the equity is down 22.8% year-to-date. 

Most members of the brokerage bunch were already pessimistic on CAT, coming into today, with 11 of the 15 in coverage calling the security a "hold" or worse. There is plenty of room for downgrades and/or price-target cuts, though. Four called CAT a "strong buy," while the 12-month consensus price target of $122.84 sits at a 7.7% premium to current levels. 

In the options pits, puts are popular. In the past 10 weeks, 1.08 puts have been bought for every call at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio sits higher than 74% of all other readings from the past year, suggesting a healthier appetite for bearish bets of late. 



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