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Cat marks 85 years on the NYSE

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Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman rang the opening bell today on the New York Stock Exchange to mark the 85th anniversary of the company’s listing on the NYSE, considered the world’s foremost securities marketplace.

Of the approximately 3,200 companies listed on the NYSE, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) is among only 2 percent that have been listed for 85 years or more.

“Not only are we celebrating 85 years on the NYSE this year, but next year we will also celebrate the 90th anniversary of Caterpillar as a company,” Oberhelman said. “Both milestones are a testament to the strength of our global brand, our dedication to customers and strong reputation with stockholders for financial strength and performance through the years. In 2014, the strength of our balance sheet and strong cash flow positioned Caterpillar to repurchase $4.2 billion in stock and to pay $1.6 billion in dividends. Caterpillar has paid a cash dividend every year since the company was formed in 1925 and has paid a quarterly dividend since 1933. We are proud of delivering that consistency and value over the decades.”

Caterpillar is also giving Wall Street traders and New York City the opportunity for an up-close look at Cat® machines used in a variety of industries. On display in front of the NYSE are a mixer truck, wheel loader, skid steer loader and backhoe loader.

Listing on the NYSE is a globally recognized signal of corporate strength and leadership, reserved for companies that meet the NYSE’s stringent requirements for income, market capitalization, cash flow and ethical practice.

Some highlights of the company's history on the NYSE include:

 

 

Caterpillar Inc. - 85 Years on the New York Stock Exchange

 

  • The company listed on Dec. 2, 1929, under the name Caterpillar Tractor Company. In 1986, the name was changed to Caterpillar Inc.
  • In May 1991, Caterpillar became one of 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • Caterpillar sales for 1929 were $52 million and the profit was $12 million.
  • An investor buying one share of Caterpillar Tractor Company at $56.25 in 1929 would have an investment worth about $40,000* today, accounting for share price growth, stock splits and dividends over the past 85 years. (*As calculated at close Dec. 2, 2014)
  • Caterpillar’s total shareholder return has sustained an annual compounded growth rate of 8 percent since the company listed in 1929.
  • On Dec. 2, 1929, the first listing day, 1,882,240 shares were outstanding and 400 shares of Caterpillar stock were traded. On Dec. 2, 2014, there were more than 605,000,000 shares outstanding and about 4 million shares traded.

 

 

History shows that 1929 was a significant year for many reasons. Among them, in the list provided by Caterpillar:

  • The crash on Wall Street in October 1929 has come to symbolize the beginning of the Great Depression.
  • Automatic electric stock quotation board installed, NYC.
  • Herbert Hoover became the 31st president in January 1929.
  • First telephone installed in the White House.
  • General Motors buys Opel.
  • German airship Graf Zeppelin completes an around-the-world flight.
  • Foundation laid of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
  • American cartoonist Elzie Segar creates the spinach-eating, pipe-smoking sailor Popeye.
  • Construction begins on the Empire State Building.
  • Admiral Richard E. Byrd makes first South Pole flight.
  • Vatican City becomes a sovereign state independent from Italy.
  • Canadian National Railways places in service the first road diesel electric passenger locomotive.
  • China regains tariff autonomy.
  • Turkey introduces a high protective tariff to encourage local industry.
  • The 1924 Immigration Act comes into force in the United States, to maintain the country’s ethnic composition.
  • Confrontations take place between armed groups of Communists and Nazis in Berlin.
  • The first regularly scheduled TV broadcasts (3 nights per week).
  • George Eastman demonstrates first technicolor movie.
  • President Hoover authorizes building of Boulder Dam (Hoover Dam).
  • 1st hospital group insurance plan offered (Dallas Texas).
  • Babe Ruth becomes 1st to hit 500 career home runs.
  • Cubs blow 8-0 World Series game 1 lead, A's score 10 in 1 inning. Philadelphia A's beat the Cubs, 4 games to 1 in 26th World Series. 

 

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).