Sunday, April 26, 2009

Caterpillar Flush With Cash

So says Paul Gordon of the JS in his column today. "It ended the first quarter with $3.6 billion in cash."

Paul probably didn't read the WSJ who reported that on Feb. 5, 2009, Caterpillar conducted a $3 billion bond sale to raise cash. This was at least the 2nd time in the past 8 months that Caterpillar has sold bonds to raise cash.

I don't know what Cat's debt load is and what doubtful account receivable they have in their financing arms as they have revolving credit lines with companies that buy their equipment such as the $29 million they lent last month to Allis-Chalmers Energy to buy two drilling rigs (Cat makes the engines).

I do know this. Stockholders who kept their stock have taken one heck of a beating while Cat executives earned more than they did in 2007. In 2007, Mr. Owens took home $14.4 million and 17.4 million in 2008 while the stockholders took a bath. I also know that layoffs will continue at least through June and the quarterly dividend is under a "fulsome" discussion as to whether it will be reduced or dropped.

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