Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT ) is one of the biggest infrastructure pure plays in the world. That is a very good place to be when the world economy is chugging along and your products are in demand all over the world.
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However, when the global economy is stalled, it's a tough row to hoe.
For example, in the past 12 months, CAT stock is up 64%. In the past 5 years, CAT stock is up 68%. Year to date, CAT stock is about even.
Suffice it to say, the past decade of central bank intervention in the global markets and stuttering global growth have not been ideal for CAT.
But times they are a'changing. President Donald Trump just announced a desire to get a massive infrastructure bill together for the U.S. Until now, that has been talked about but there was never any real plan to move forward. Now there is.
There are also signs of growth in Asia and Europe, as well as emerging markets. And that's good news for CAT, since more than half its sales are outside the U.S. at this point. And China makes up about a quarter of sales outside the U.S. market.
CAT stock's charge last year was a factor in why the Dow Jones Industrial Average had such a hot year. DJIA is a price-weighted average and CAT is one of the top 10 priced stocks. A strong run by it and DJIA colleague Boeing Co (NYSE: BA ), the most highest priced stock in the DJIA, helped lift the average significantly.
While the last year's run was quite impressive for a company with a $98 billion market cap, don't expect that kind of run to continue. There's no doubt there is plenty of ground to make up since its doldrums in the past decade, but the real value here is solid double-digit gains for years to come.
There's no doubt that the U.S. will be putting money into infrastructure spending. And whether it's federal, state or private - or any combination of them - CAT will be a beneficiary on many levels.
For example, if new rail lines are built or old ones are upgraded, CAT is a double winner since it not only will provide equipment to work on the tracks, but it also builds the engines that power the trains.
And if you're skeptical of the building boom to come, take a look at some recent numbers from CAT. In the 3 months November through January, machine sales rose 34% globally and 23% in North America. And breaking it down by sector, its resource industries sector was the best performing.
That is its mining and quarry division. What this tells us is the demand for industrial commodities is already starting on the most fundamental level, which promises that economic growth will continue to offer opportunities for a long time to come.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth , Emerging Growth, Ultimate Growth , Family Trust and Platinum Growth . His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com . Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.
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