Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Whirlpool (WHR) to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Whirlpool outperformed the industry in the past year. Moreover, the company’s progress on global cost-based price increases and fixed cost reduction initiatives, remains encouraging. Notably, it is on track to cut down fixed overhead expenses by $150 million in 2018. Additionally, the company’s robust product pipeline, solid innovations and cost productivity initiatives keep it on track to achieve long-term goals. Also, the company’s shareholder friendly moves bode well. However, the company delivered negative earnings surprise in seven of the last eight quarters and five consecutive sales misses in second-quarter 2018. Also, higher raw material costs, lower sales volumes and currency headwinds are denting its performance. Increased steel tariffs are hurting Whirlpool as steel is its main raw material. Management also lowered its GAAP and adjusted earnings view for 2018. Nevertheless, estimates have been stable lately.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on WHR. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Whirlpool from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $170.00 to $195.00 in a report on Monday, June 4th. Standpoint Research started coverage on Whirlpool in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued a buy rating on the stock. Longbow Research cut Whirlpool from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $185.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. Royal Bank of Canada cut Whirlpool from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Whirlpool from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Saturday, June 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $174.75.

Shares of WHR stock opened at $121.32 on Tuesday. Whirlpool has a 1 year low of $120.95 and a 1 year high of $190.73. The firm has a market cap of $7.99 billion, a PE ratio of 8.83, a PEG ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 1.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a current ratio of 0.92.

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 23rd. The company reported $3.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $3.63 by ($0.43). Whirlpool had a negative net margin of 2.62% and a positive return on equity of 20.73%. The firm had revenue of $5.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $3.35 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Whirlpool will post 14.2 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 31st were issued a $1.15 dividend. This represents a $4.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.79%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 30th. Whirlpool’s payout ratio is 33.48%.

In other Whirlpool news, Director Diane M. Dietz purchased 1,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 26th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $124.26 per share, for a total transaction of $198,816.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 8,339 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,036,204.14. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 2.83% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. boosted its position in Whirlpool by 3.0% during the first quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 11,405 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,747,000 after purchasing an additional 328 shares during the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. boosted its position in Whirlpool by 88.1% during the first quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 334 shares during the last quarter. Adviser Investments LLC boosted its position in Whirlpool by 1.7% during the second quarter. Adviser Investments LLC now owns 24,084 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,522,000 after purchasing an additional 404 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Whirlpool by 6.5% during the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,003,000 after purchasing an additional 416 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tyers Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Whirlpool by 1.8% during the second quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 24,046 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,516,000 after purchasing an additional 418 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.11% of the company’s stock.

Whirlpool Company Profile

Whirlpool Corporation manufactures and markets home appliances and related products. It operates through four segments: North America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Latin America; and Asia. The company's principal products include laundry appliances, refrigerators and freezers, cooking appliances, dishwashers, mixers, and other small domestic appliances.

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