CAT shares hammered as feds search offices

Shares in Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), the world's No.1 heavy machinery maker, were down more than 5% Thursday around noon after it became public that officials were executing a search warrant at three of the companies’ facilities in the Tri-County Area, including the corporate headquarters.

Some of the agents spotted by local press and witnesses wore jackets bearing an Internal Revenue Service logo.

Company officials confirmed the presence of federal agents in a statement without specifying which agency was performing the search or what they were looking for.

"Caterpillar is cooperating," the brief statement quoted by Sun Times said.

The US attorney’s office confirmed that law enforcement officials were active in three of CAT’s facilities in the Peoria, Illinois-area, including East Peoria and Morton.

Some of the agents spotted by local press and witnesses wore jackets bearing an Internal Revenue Service logo, others appeared to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, The Peoria Journal Star reports.

The equipment maker announced in January it would move its headquarters from Peoria to Chicago, relocating about 300 employees.

The stock was down 5.7% to $2.95 at 1:08pm ET.