The heavy equipment manufacturer got bulldozed in the housing bust as the company's legion of independent dealers stopped placing orders for new backhoes and bucket loaders. After Oberhelman was installed as CEO this summer, the 35-year company veteran and former president expanded the company's manufacturing presence in booming markets like Brazil and China and bought mining equipment manufacturer Bucyrus International for $7.5 billion, its largest acquisition ever. Caterpillar stock is up 38% since he took charge and is the best performing stock in the Dow this year.
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