×

Goldman: Buy this machinery stock

Caterpillar's on a roll this year.

The stock is up 28% year-to-date -- an especially dramatic rise given the stock's 26% drop in 2015.

And the surge higher makes CAT the Dow's top dog: the stock is the index's 2016 best-performer by a sizable margin.

Caterpillar is a cyclical stock, meaning its performance is tied to how the broader economy does. The commodities tumble at the beginning of the year meant industrial companies cut back on capex spending. This, in turn, put pressure on Caterpillar's sales.

But crude oil's recovery -- it's risen more than 90% off its 52-week low in February -- is one of the many things that has lifted Caterpillar higher over recent months.

And today, the company got another vote of confidence.

Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to buy, and raised its price target on the name to $112 -- a 27% upside from current levels.

But given the stock's recent run is the call too late? Or will CAT continue to head higher as we finish out 2016? The "Halftime Report" experts debated the trade.

Goldman's belief that Caterpillar will rally another 27% from here is based on three reasons.

First, the firm believes that mining companies will start buying up equipment again after a period of under-investing in machinery.

Second, Goldman notes Caterpillar's extensive and successful cost-cutting measures, including the restructuring of its largest plant in Belgium.

And finally, the firm sees additional initiatives that the company can take to even further reduce costs and drive profitability.

The CAT logo is displayed on Caterpillar construction equipment.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
The CAT logo is displayed on Caterpillar construction equipment.

Stephanie Link owns Caterpillar -- it's her largest industrial position.

She bought the stock last May due to its (at the time) 5% dividend yield. While she notes that the company's balance sheet has been incrementally improving, and that the company's restructuring efforts will keep margins in check, at this point she's looking to trim her position.

Staying within the industrial sector, she currently has her eye on Cummins.

Joe Terranova thinks the stock has been a good turnaround story, but he believes Goldman's call is late and thinks the firm's $112 price target is too high.

"You want to stay within the sector, but look at other names that haven't already had the performance that CAT has," he argued.


As a technician, Josh Brown is watching the charts for an indication of when to buy the stock. While he doesn't think investors should buy the stock now, another chance might soon present itself.

"You may get another opportunity on a retest of the break-out, which is about $84...if you're not in it yet, maybe you don't want to buy it the day of an upgrade, but you might have another opportunity on the retest...that's where you pull the trigger," he said.

Trader disclosure: On October 11, 2016 the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Halftime Report" were owned by the "Halftime Report" traders:

Joe Terranova: Long ADBE, ALB, BBT, FB, FXY, NOC, PSX, SLB, SYK,TJX, TMO,TXN, VRTS, VXX. PUTS: IWM

Stephanie Link: Long AAPL, AGN, AIG, AMZN, APC, APD, AVGO, BAC, BHI, CAG,CAT, CB, CIEN, CSCO, CVX, CXO, DOV, DOW, EL, ETFC, ESRX, FB, GOOG, GOOGL, GS,JPM, JWN, LLY, LOW, LRCX, M, MAT, MDLZ, MGM, MSFT, PANW, PG, PM, RTN, SLB, STI,SWK, TGT, UNH, UPS, URI, V, WBA, WBC, WFC, WLK, WMB, YUM, ZION

Josh Brown: Long AAPL, AMGN, BMY, CORE, DE, DNKN, GE, GOOGL, MA, NVDA,SAM, SHAK, TWTR, XLE, YUM, WDAY

Pete Najarian: Long Stock: AAPL, BAC, DIS, DISCA, GE, KMI, KMIA, KO, LUX,PEP, PFE CALLS: AAL, ABT, AMD, ATVI, BABA, BAC, BHI, BSX, CNX, COP, COTY, CRM,CS, CXW, DAL, DISH, ECA,EL, ETP, GS, GT, HAL, INTC, JBLU, JCP, KBE,KGC, KMI, KO, KR, LLY, LOW, M, MRO, MRVL, MUR, NAV, SBUX, SLV, TMUS, TTS,TV, TWTR, VRX, WFT, WLL. Puts: CLF, EEM, MBLY, WFC