A lot of Wall Street analysts are making forecasts for the immediate future. A consensus is currently building, suggesting that larger-cap stocks will start doing well this year. Many analysts contend that the large-cap sector of the market has underperformed for several years and that bigger companies now have the pricing power to deliver higher earnings.
I agree with this consensus; however, I don’t believe that large-cap stocks will be successful as a group. The good news is that some large American corporations are running lean operations and productivity is high. Like Fed Chairman Greenspan preaches, productivity is one of the most important indicators about the health of an economy.
One of the best performing large-cap companies recently has been Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE/CAT). This large equipment manufacturer is very well managed, it’s solidly profitable, and it’s benefiting from a worldwide demand for its products. By investing in building up its sales and distribution infrastructure on a global basis, many foreign countries turn to Caterpillar for earth-moving equipment.
Caterpillar is not only well positioned globally, but it is also makes products that customers want to buy (something that GM needs to consider). The company makes quality products and backs them up with service. If you want to build a road, you can turn to Caterpillar. If you want to start a gold mine, you can turn to Caterpillar. The company is benefiting from all the strengths in the current global economy.
Right now, Caterpillar is trading at an all-time high on the stock market. Still, I think this stock will continue to do well. It’s a proven stock market winner with a bright future selling heavy duty equipment when global demand for raw materials is high.