March 21, 2013 at 08:15 AM EDT
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Maintains “Neutral” Rating on Caterpillar After Weak February Sales (CAT)

Late on Wednesday, analyst Ross Gilardi of Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterated a “Neutral” rating on mining and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) after the company released disappointing February sales data.

The analyst sees shares of CAT reaching $104, which suggests an 18% upside to Wednesday’s closing price of $88.27%.

In his report, Gilardi commented, “Caterpillar released its Caterpillar released its trailing 3-month Dealer Statistics for February. World machine sales declined 13%, compared to the 4% decline in January. February marks the lowest growth rate in 35 months. Total engine sales declined 7%, in line with the 7% decline in the prior month. In our view, the data suggests that February’s end-user demand was particularly weak relative to December and January.”

Caterpillar shares were down a fraction during pre-market trading on Thursday. The stock is down -23.45% over the past year.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) have a dividend yield of 2.39% based on last night’s closing price of $86.94 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of $2.08 per share.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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