View the full cat chart at Wikinvest

Cat Stock Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Cat people’ Category

Caterpillar insiders buying up shares

A site called Gurufocus notes several stock share purchases by Caterpillar brass:

Director Daniel M Dickinson bought 3,037 shares of CAT stock last Friday … Director Peter A Magowan bought 15,000 shares total January through February …

Generally, insider buying picks up around market bottoms. Historically, Caterpillar has bottomed around $30 a share, so these are not unreasonable bets. Mind you these are exceptionally wealthy individuals (Magowan owns the San Francisco Giants) so they’re gambling with bucks they can afford to lose.

(Thanks to Alert Reader G. for tipping me to these buys).

no comments | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 8:16 am February 9th, 2009 |

Caterpillar CEO to join Obama’s economic advisory board

President Obama’s assembling his economic dream team:

The group also will include Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of General Electric, and Jim Owens, the chairman of Caterpillar Inc., which announced last week the layoff of 20,000 jobs. William Donaldson, a former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, will also serve on the board, along with Roger Ferguson, the president of T.I.A.A.-CREF, and Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University professor, who was the chief economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

The group also includes two leading labor officials: Richard Trumka of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and Anna Burger of the Service Employees International Union. The board, which will meet for two years, will be guided by Austan Goolsbee, an economic adviser to the president.

Strikes me you’d have trouble getting this group to agree on whether today is actually Friday, but it does give the impression of something being done.

A reader comments: “Looks like having Ray LaHood in a cabinet position is already paying off Cat with Jim Owens’ appointment to the Board of Economic Advisors.”

no comments | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 8:46 am February 6th, 2009 |

Ex-Caterpillar CEO Lee Morgan dead at 89

Lee Morgan saw Caterpillar through some of its darkest hours in the early 1980s. Everybody who has job there today has him to thank for keeping the doors open as the company lost billions because the Federal Reserve’s get-tough policy against inflation sent the dollar soaring and crashed overseas demand for Caterpillar equipment. He died Wednesday at age 89, Paul Gordon reports in the Peoria Journal Star.

“Lee’s wise and steady leadership guided Caterpillar through some very turbulent waters during his career with the company,” said current Caterpillar Chairman Jim Owens. “He was a champion in the area of international trade and open markets, and today Caterpillar continues to benefit from his pioneering vision.”

Morgan was a sales and marketing guy who came up through the ranks to run the whole company.

There’s not a lot of narrative online about Morgan, though you could piece something together with a Google book search.

When he laid off half of Peoria, he kept my mom on the payroll, so he’s alright with me.

no comments | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 10:57 pm January 22nd, 2009 |

Remembering Slag

Phil Luciano of the Peoria Journal Star profiles the longest-working employee in Caterpillar history, Glen “Slag” Hilligoss, who died on New Year’s Eve after over 63 years with the company. Slag was a welder who never showed the slightest interest in retiring.

“I see so many retired people just watching cars go by,” Slag told a reporter eight years ago, when he was a mere pup of 72 years of age. “When you read the obituaries, most of the people are retired. I still look forward to coming to work every day.”

Slag finally ended up in the obits recently. But his had no mention of retirement. Rather, it duly noted that at the time of his death, the 80-year-old Washburn man had worked 63 1/2 years at Caterpillar.

Nice story of an inspiration to us all. Especially those who will never enjoy the pension he declined to collect because companies don’t have pensions anymore.

(Disclosure: I worked with Luciano for six years at the Journal Star — his personality profiles are always worth a read.)

no comments | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 8:40 pm January 18th, 2009 |

Former rodeo queen now drives a Caterpillar D8 for a living

This piece in the Modesto Bee trots out a woman-in-a-mans-world cliche about every fourth sentence, but I’m posting because my wife says her secret dream is to enroll in Caterpillar Operator School. It’s about one Kasey Barker Herndon, 23, who grew up in Oakdale, a small burg we drive through on our way to Yosemite National Park.

Q: How did you become interested in driving heavy equipment?

A: When I graduated from (Hughson) high school, I started driving a water truck for Quicksand Express sand and gravel company out of Hilmar. Then I worked alongside my dad for Ross S. Carroll, out of Oakdale, driving a water truck. One day they called and told me I’d been laid off (because of the slowdown in home construction). My mom and stepfather called and wanted me to come work with them in Utah. I oiled heavy equipment.

Q: How did you move up to operating bulldozers?

A: After we finished the Utah job, we went on to (Rollins) Wyoming, and my boss, Barry Smith, put me on a dozer.

Q: Where were you trained?

A: I just grew up around it and took to it. There’s no license. I just worked my way up the chain. You have to be part of the union (Operating Engineers No. 3).

Q: When was your first job running a dozer?

A: October, 2007. I run a D-8, which is a pretty good size. As far as we can tell, I’m the youngest female to run a dozer in United States.

Q: What do you like most about it?

A: It’s an adrenaline (rush). For me, being a woman, I get a lot of respect from my elders. I work in a man’s world. It’s not a battle every day, but it takes a lot of effort. I have to do it better or I won’t have a job. Men around me fight every day for this position.

Wow, an adrenaline rush driving a D8 … goes to show some folks were just born for a certain kind of work.

no comments | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 10:35 pm January 12th, 2009 |

Don Fites named to Hall of Fame

Last time I lived in Peoria, Don Fites was the man every UAW member loved to hate. Now he’s been voted to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Hall of Fame.

“We are pleased to continue the tradition of recognizing individuals whose vision and leadership have contributed greatly to the growth and strength of our industry and of our quality of life. Our inductees this year represent some of the most influential minds in the history of construction and equipment manufacturing,” stated AEM President Dennis Slater.

Don made a lot of people mad back in the day, but the company got stronger because he had the nerve to go toe-to-toe with his unions, unlike the Detroit automakers.

Speaking of people Fites made mad: here’s a lengthy diatribe against CEO pay and their illusory salary cuts from the Working Group on Extreme Inequality. (At first blush this group sounds like the usual capitalism-hating suspects going after fish-in-a-barrel topics, but I can’t help wondering — as does any stockholder with a pulse — how much genuine return we get on paying individuals millions of dollars a year).

no comments | Permalink |
Tom Mangan posted at 12:09 am January 12th, 2009 |

Caterpillar Operator Challenge: “Toughest Competition on Earth”

This morning I happened upon the blog of Caterpillar Operator Challenge Finals 2008, a scraping-digging-dumping olympiad held in early November at Cat’s proving grounds in Malaga, Spain. The winner: Sabastian Behr of Germany.

Overall there were eight machine tests: truck loading with a large wheel loader, basement excavation with a track-type loader, finish grading with a small track-type tractor, load and haul production with a front shovel excavator and an off highway truck, site utilities with a multi terrain loader and a compact wheel loader, confined operation with a compact radius mini excavator, road construction with a motor grader and GPS guidance system with a large excavator.

The competition is the finale of a series of smaller challenges at Cat dealers across Europe. Winners of those events went to Malaga.

Cat’s multimedia team produced a host of slick videos about the competition notable for their sexy soundtracks and scant detail on how the competitions actually work (though let’s face it, there’s not much Human Drama of Athletic Competition in seeing who can shovel the most dirt into an off-highway truck; Agony of Defeat is either a callous or a calamity that kills dozens, neither of which burnishes Cat’s brand).

Actually the coolest thing at the competition blog was this video of the Caterpillar Race of 1930.

(Please excuse the silly silent-movie-era sound effects.)

One thing I can’t help wondering: where are the Americans?

no comments | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 9:26 am January 5th, 2009 |

Cat exec goes on shooting spree

OK, it was just some birds, on his own land, but it’s a slow news day and right now the best I’ve got is this: Group President Doug Oberhelman going quail hunting with the outdoors writer from the Peoria Journal Star. Doug looks very manly and fetching in his hunting regalia, though non-readers of Field and Stream may note the irony of the author praising the survival skills of birds he has just shot dead.

no comments | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 7:52 am January 2nd, 2009 |

Sunday diversion: Cat worker goes from fat man to Iron Man

Bloomington Pantagraph profiles one John Brown, a Caterpillar employee who went on a fitness kick a couple years back and hasn’t stopped since. He lost 140 pounds in just over two years after winning a Caterpillar weight-loss contest. Brown’s Seven Steps to Fitness:

  1. Accept the truth. You are fat because you’re eating more than your body is using. Slow metabolism, genetics and other “reasons” you’ve been using to explain away your weight are inconsequential compared to that simple fact.
  2. Keep a diary to keep track of what you do. Make fitness a priority in your life or die younger; the choice is yours.
  3. Embrace the enemy and make it your ally. Food is the tool we use to make us fat, but it is also the key to how we get thin and stay that way. Enjoy food, but do it the right way.
  4. Learn to listen to your body and give it what it needs, not what it thinks it wants.
  5. Set goals, lots of them — hard ones, easy ones, weight goals, fitness goals, exercise goals. Make whatever you can quantify into a goal. It feels great to live a life filled with constant and repeated achievement.
  6. Surround yourself with people who represent the person you want to be. A support group of people who have achieved what you wish to achieve is more powerful and more permanent than any drug, program, plan or gimmick. They will not let you fail. Join clubs for support and information. Members thrive on each other’s successes.
  7. Reaching your goal weight is not the end of your journey. See it as the beginning of the next phase. Plan for the future by setting goals beyond losing weight.

To me, losing weight is like quitting smoking: you have to ready to change. Meaning, you want to be thinner more than you want all the goodies that make you fat. I lost almost 40 pounds by hiking and cutting out snacking, so I know it can be done.

one comment | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 7:35 am December 28th, 2008 |