A call with Caterpillar Inc’s (NYSE: 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 (NYSE: 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
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