While Caterpillar's CEO may have resigned recently, admitting that he misjudged the business strategy, and even the company issued a press release cautioning the market may have gotten ahead of itself, CAT stock does not appear to be bothered, soaring by 12% since the Trump presidential victory, and continues to trade near 2016 highs on hopes an infrastructure push would make excavators great again. For now, however, the woes at the heavy industrial manufacturer continue, with yet another month of declining global sales, the company's 48th in a row.
To be sure, there was a glimmer of hope for CAT coming out of Asia, where retail sales continued the rebound after posting positive gains in the August, September, and October, rising 12% last month, the biggest annual gain since September 2012, however the November gains moderated fractionally to 11%. This however was offset by continuing - and sharper - declines in North America, the EAME and Latin Ameica regions, which declined by 19%, 25%, and 32%, worse than last month's declines of 16%, 14% and 24%, respectively.
But it was on a global blended basis, that the ongoing problems facing CAT refuse to go away, and where we can see that the company has not reported a single monthly uptick in sales for record 48 consecutive months, or 4 straight years, a period which is now 2.5x longer than the far more acute 19 month drop observed during the post-financial crisis period.
Meanwhile, the stock continues to levitate higher, unanchored by any fundamental considerations.