Caterpillar Is Giving More Cash to Shareholders, and the Stock Is Rising | CAT Message Board Posts


Caterpillar Inc.

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Msg  140 of 145  at  5/18/2022 5:07:16 PM  by

jerrykrause


Caterpillar Is Giving More Cash to Shareholders, and the Stock Is Rising

Caterpillar Is Giving More Cash to Shareholders, and the Stock Is Rising
 

Caterpillar's Tuesday event for analysts and investors started with a gift to shareholders: More cash.

It isn't really a gift, of course, when shareholders own the corporation. Still, Caterpillar (ticker: CAT) announced a new share repurchase authorization of $15 billion, which works out to about 13% of the company's market capitalization.

The cash won't be spent all at once. For instance, the prior authorization was granted by the board back in 2018 and was for $10 billion. As of March 31, there was $1.4 billion left under that authorization.

Whatever is left under that old authorization expires when the new one becomes effective on on Aug. 1, 2022, the company said in an emailed statement.

The finer points of the repurchase authorization don't matter all that much to investors—they care most about the return of capital. On that front, Caterpillar has a solid history balancing dividends and share repurchases.

Over the past 10 years, Caterpillar has spent about $20.8 billion repurchasing stock and about $18.7 billion on dividends. That $39.5 billion compares with about $37.3 billion in free cash flow generated over the same span. (Caterpillar has issued roughly $2.1 billion in stock and $4.4 billion in net debt over that span.)

The pace of buybacks for the 2018 authorization has amounted to about $900 million a quarter, excluding the pandemic-related pause. Dividends eat up about $600 million a quarter. That $1.5 billion compares with Wall Street's projected free cash flow of about $1.6 billion a quarter over the coming two years. All that math leads to one conclusion: Cat management is still committed to returning cash to its shareholders.

Caterpillar shares closed 2.9% higher Tuesday at $213.09, on a good day for markets. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2% and 1.3%, respectively.

This year, through Tuesday trading, Cat stock is up about 3%. Inflation , which has hurt many stocks, actually benefits Caterpillar in an important way: A lot of its customers produce things that are rising in price, creating demand for Caterpillar's goods and services.

 


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