If someone was looking for a reason to buy CAT stock (alongside the company's stock buybacking -sic- management), and send it to fresh all time highs, today's latest monthly report of CAT April dealer retail sales should be sufficient.
First, the good news: US retail sales of machines in the US posted its fourth monthly pick up, rising 12% compared to April of 2013 which print, however, was the biggest, at -18%, annual drop for US sales since 2010 so this was merely a modest stabilization relative to depressed comp levels.
As for the bad news, well: everything else. The drubbing in sales across all other markets continued, with sales in Asia/Pacific, EAME and Latin America all dropping by more than 20% compared to last year.
End blended result: global retail sales have now declined Y/Y for 17 consecutive months, which incidentally is just shy of the longest stretch of declining retail sales on record. Worse: the -13% drop in world retail sales matched the biggest annual drop since February of 2010.
Frankly, we are surprised that CAT hasn't started reporting non-GAAP retail sales: those which exclude all negative numbers.