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Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) stock news and links

Archive for December, 2008

New Year’s break

Be Back Friday, Jan. 2.

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Tom Mangan posted at 7:54 am December 31st, 2008 |

Caterpillar rated 16th best company to work for, which offers salaries and workplace reviews, conducted a survey that rated the best places to work. The top 20:

  1. General Mills
  2. Bain & Company
  3. Netflix
  4. Adobe
  5. Northwestern Mutual
  6. Whole Foods
  7. Google
  8. SAP
  9. Continental Airlines
  10. NetApp
  11. McKinsey & Company
  12. FactSet
  13. Boston Consulting
  14. Procter & Gamble
  15. Intuit
  16. Caterpillar
  17. Genentech
  18. CareerBuilder
  19. Apple
  20. Juniper Networks

Wow, above Apple. Can’t be long till we have a squashed-bug-yellow successor to the iPod.

The methodology of this “survey” is so unscientific that it’s value is purely for entertainment/bragging rights. But hey, we all eat ice cream cones despite their utter absence of redeeming nutritional value.

Glassdoor’s “how do you like your job” area is loads of fun. Wonderful (if predictable) contrast from Cat’s page.

“Caterpillar – Exporting Producs, Importing Revenue, a good place to call Home”
Senior Engineer in Peoria, IL (US)

“Don’t work here unless you want to be miserable in the middle of nowhere.”
Mechanical Engineer in Peoria, IL (US)

Hey, that’s my hometown you’re calling in the middle of nowhere, bucko. (Sez the guy living it up in sunny California 2000 miles away).

Glassdoor requires you to post a review to be able to read other people’s, an extra layer of effort that yields expressions of extreme contentment or bitterness, I suspect. Folks in the middle probably wouldn’t bother.

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Tom Mangan posted at 12:38 am December 31st, 2008 |

Today’s close: Up 3.12%

Caterpillar got a nice pop on a day when the market kissed off a host of bad news and decided to rally.

Closing numbers

3% of something credit: bigcharts.comcredit:

3% of something

  • Monday’s close, 42.34
  • Today’s open, 42.57
  • Range: 42.01-43.75
  • Close: 43.66, +1.32 (+3.12%)
  • Volume: 5,006,684

The Indexes:

  • Dow, 8668.39, +184.46 (+2.17%)
  • S&P 500, 890.64, +21.22 (+2.44%)
  • Nasdaq, 1550.7, +40.38 (+2.67%)

Bulls would like to see higher volume to confirm the rally’s got legs, but we’ll take any good news these days.

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Tom Mangan posted at 1:28 pm December 30th, 2008 |

Great stock screener: is a data junkie’s wet dream. It’s all charts, numbers, headlines and other data points, but it also has an excellent stock screening tool with just about every sort-down you could imagine.

it also includes a page of news headlines with a column of blog posts.

And, naturally, you can sort by ticker. Here’s Cat’s page. Note the nice candlestick-pattern charting. Also: Latest SEC filings at the bottom. (Bonus link: CNCB blogger predicting great days ahead for Cat stock.)

Definite add to my bookmarks list. Another for the technically minded:

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Tom Mangan posted at 10:12 am December 30th, 2008 |

Why a coup in East West Africa matters to work crews in East Peoria

Guinea, East Africa

Guinea, West Africa

I doubt many Americans have any idea where Guinea is. They probably think it’s where the chubby pet rodents come from. Actually, it’s an impoverished but mineral-rich East West African nation where there was a coup awhile back after a longtime dictator died.

This morning’s news roundup has Rio Tinto, one of the worlds biggest mining companies, trying to wheedle answers out of the new Guinea regime in regards to big mining projects it’s running there.

Anyplace Rio Tinto goes, Cat machinery presumably follows.

Cat’s connections to far-flung locales was one of the fascinating things about the company when I was growing up — Mom was always coming home with tales of people jetting off to Grimbergen or South Africa for something or another. China opening its economy to outsiders played a huge role in Cats renaissance after the near-death experience of the early 1980s.

Cat’s next big thing could happen in Africa — even after centuries of exploitation the continent has abundant mineral wealth. Of course the Africans would have to cease 10,000 years of bloody tribal rivalries, but hey, the 100 Years War eventually ended, too.

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:51 am December 30th, 2008 |

Recession roundup

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:23 am December 30th, 2008 |

Caterpillar 979B: Celebrity monster truck

The 979B mining truck appears to be the closest thing to a celebrity in Caterpillar’s equipment lineup (not counting the armor-plated dozers used to implement Israeli justice on their tormentors). This video I found online amounts to a free ad for the behemoth, though the $5.5 million price tag makes the universe of potential purchasers rather small.

There’s some confusion over whether this is the world’s largest truck. One commenter at the thread linked to the YouTube video above says the biggest is the Liebherr 282B, which has 50 tons more capacity, he says.

There’s a project under way to automate these beasts and run them robotically. It seems to me there couldn’t be enough of them the world to justify the millions it would cost to develop the technology — wouldn’t it be cheaper to just pay drivers? — but I read somewhere that large mines in remote locales that actually use giant off-highway trucks have a hard time finding anybody willing to drive them. Theoretically, it could make work sites safer as well.

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:15 am December 30th, 2008 |

Today’s close: down .89%

A quiet Monday will do just fine after what we’ve been through over the past few months. Oil and commodity prices were stable to rising throughout the day, but the tech sector was dragging everybody down. Looks like a bit of profit-taking on the small Santa Claus rally of last week.

Closing numbers

Nothing to see here, move on Credit: BigCharts.comCredit:

Nothing to see here, move on

  • Friday’s close, 42.72
  • Today’s open, 41.98
  • Range: 42.71-43.30
  • Close: 42.34, -.38 (-.89%)
  • Volume: 4,937,333

The Indexes:

  • Dow, 8483.93, -31.62 (-0.37%)
  • S&P 500, 869.42, -3.38 (-0.39%)
  • Nasdaq, 1510.32, -19.92 (-1.30%)

Volume suggests most traders are still on Christmas vacation.

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Tom Mangan posted at 1:24 pm December 29th, 2008 |

Please send news, tips rumors, etc.

The Monday after Christmas is presenting a major news drought — now’s your chance to contribute; just add a comment. Or resume enjoying your Christmas vacation, if you’re lucky enough to be getting one.

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Tom Mangan posted at 10:19 am December 29th, 2008 |

Boys never outgrow playing with tractors

A Caterpillar dealer in Roanoke, Virginia, raffled off the rights to operate some heavy machinery for a few hours, with proceeds going to the local symphony (how’s that for cultural contrast?). A reporter for the local paper went along and talked the organizers into letting him run the arm on 324D excavator:

I mounted the steps to the cab, settled into the cushy seat, and recalled Church’s earlier mantra. “Left hand is stick and swing; right is bucket and boom.” At first gingerly and then with near-veteran confidence, I sent that arm out and down, planted the bucket at the base of the dirt mound, and twisted and pulled on controls until the scoop overflowed with red earth. Then I lifted it high, swung the load to my left, and dumped it from 20 feet up. On a roll, I pivoted back to the right, lowered the boom, and heard the diesel torque under load as the bucket clawed into the loose dirt once again. “Up, you devil,” I coaxed my machine in David Wiley fashion, swinging it around to the left while the bucket rose majestically. And then — bulls-eye! I dumped that ton of dirt right on top of my first load. “Tim the Tool Man” would’ve been proud.

I hope the woodwinds are grateful.

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Tom Mangan posted at 11:27 pm December 28th, 2008 |