Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Whirlpool (WHR) to Sell

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Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Whirlpool underperformed the industry in a month owing to dismal top and bottom line trends. Including second-quarter 2018, the company delivered negative earnings surprise in seven of the last eight quarters and five consecutive sales misses. Also, top and bottom lines declined year over year due to higher raw material costs, lower sales volumes and currency headwinds. Notably, the increased steel tariffs due to the global trade war are hurting Whirlpool as steel is its main raw material. Additionally, a struggling EMEA segment due to charges booked in the European operations and an antitrust settlement in France weighed on the results. Management lowered its GAAP and adjusted earnings view for 2018. 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. Estimates have been stable lately.”

A number of other research analysts have also commented on WHR. Standpoint Research started coverage on shares of Whirlpool in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Cleveland Research reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Whirlpool in a report on Wednesday. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded shares of Whirlpool from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Credit Suisse Group set a $175.00 price objective on shares of Whirlpool and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. Finally, Longbow Research downgraded shares of Whirlpool from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $185.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $171.88.

WHR traded down $0.50 on Friday, reaching $103.85. The company had a trading volume of 1,021,885 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,220,962. Whirlpool has a fifty-two week low of $102.85 and a fifty-two week high of $187.47. The firm has a market cap of $7.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.56, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 1.54. 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 announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 23rd. The company reported $3.20 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 company had revenue of $5.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $3.35 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Whirlpool will post 14.2 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Whirlpool news, Director Diane M. Dietz acquired 1,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 26th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $124.26 per share, with a total value of $198,816.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 8,339 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,036,204.14. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 2.83% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WHR. Assetmark Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Whirlpool by 88.1% during the 1st quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 713 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 334 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Whirlpool during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $111,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC bought a new stake in shares of Whirlpool during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $123,000. Norway Savings Bank bought a new stake in shares of Whirlpool during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $132,000. Finally, LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA lifted its holdings in shares of Whirlpool by 167.6% during the 3rd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 1,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $190,000 after acquiring an additional 1,002 shares during the period. 93.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Whirlpool

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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