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MarketWatch MarketPulseOct 18, 2019
Caterpillar stock downgraded at Morgan Stanley on 'increasing downside risks' heading into next year
Caterpillar Inc. was downgraded by Morgan Stanley analyst Courtney Yakavonis, who cited signs of "increasing downside risks" to the machinery and heavy equipment maker's construction and energy and transportation (E&T) businesses. Yakavonis cut the rating to equal weight, after being at overweight since March 2018, and lowered the stock price target to $145 from $150. The stock edged up 0.2% in morning trading. "We believe the U.S. construction equipment market peaked in 2019 and the E&T markets will fail to re-accelerate in 2020," Yakovonis wrote in a note to clients. "Our [North America] construction equipment replacement cycle analysis suggests that replacement will revert to a headwind in 2020 while elevated dealer inventory levels have also materially increased the risk of a dealer inventory de-stock," Yakovonis wrote in a note to clients. "We are also concerned about pricing heading into 2020, and think that margins could still be under pressure next year even if input costs fall." The stock had gained 3.3% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 15.7%.

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