Whirlpool (WHR) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

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

According to Zacks, “Whirlpool outperformed the industry in the past year. The company posted mixed results for third-quarter 2018, wherein earnings topped estimates while sales missed. Notably, it delivered a positive earnings surprise after two straight quarters of miss. Earnings benefited from solid growth in North America coupled with a lower tax rate, despite sluggish industry demand and higher raw material costs. However, sales lagged estimates for the sixth straight quarter. Moreover, margins remained soft due to raw material inflation, unit-volume declines and increased freight expenses. Whirlpool trimmed its GAAP forecast but raised the lower end of the adjusted earnings per share view. Nevertheless, the company’s progress on global cost-based price increases and fixed cost reduction initiatives, along with robust product pipeline and innovations remain encouraging. It also remains focused on rightsizing the soft EMEA segment.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on WHR. Standpoint Research initiated coverage on shares of Whirlpool in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. They set a buy rating for the company. Longbow Research lowered shares of Whirlpool from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $185.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Credit Suisse Group set a $175.00 target price on shares of Whirlpool and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered shares of Whirlpool from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of Whirlpool in a research report on Tuesday, October 2nd. They set a sell rating and a $107.00 target price for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Whirlpool has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $144.88.

Shares of WHR stock opened at $104.25 on Monday. Whirlpool has a 52 week low of $102.13 and a 52 week high of $187.47. The company has a market capitalization of $6.67 billion, a PE ratio of 7.59, a P/E/G ratio of 0.75 and a beta of 1.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a current ratio of 0.87 and a quick ratio of 0.58.

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The company reported $4.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.76 by $0.79. The company had revenue of $5.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.34 billion. Whirlpool had a negative net margin of 2.95% and a positive return on equity of 23.93%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $3.83 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Whirlpool will post 14.65 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 16th will be given a $1.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 15th. This represents a $4.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.41%. Whirlpool’s payout ratio is currently 33.48%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WHR. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT bought a new position in shares of Whirlpool in the second quarter worth approximately $125,557,000. Hexavest Inc. bought a new position in shares of Whirlpool in the second quarter worth about $34,408,000. LSV Asset Management grew its holdings in shares of Whirlpool by 12.1% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,899,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $277,702,000 after purchasing an additional 205,203 shares during the last quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Whirlpool in the second quarter worth about $18,437,000. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its holdings in Whirlpool by 21.9% during the 3rd quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 678,380 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,558,000 after acquiring an additional 121,716 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.04% 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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