No. 4: Caterpillar
Return as of 3/30: +17.6%
Investor: Dan Burrows
If you’re looking for a broad-based recovery play, it’s hard to get better than Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT). The world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment has its fingers in a lot of pies, and will benefit nicely from any sustained economic growth.
Caterpillar’s earnings earlier in the quarter were favorable, with increased global demand bolstering profit up 60% on record sales. The 2011 increases in both sales and revenues were the largest percentage increase in any year since 1947.
The good news continued. In March, Caterpillar said its order backlog hit record levels during the quarter, which bodes well for future performance. It also affirmed its fiscal 2012 outlook for earnings of about $9.25 a share on revenue of $68 billion to $72 billion.
Burrows also sees promise in a note by Zacks Equity Research, which looks for continued expansion of Caterpillar’s mining acquisitions.