Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $225.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 3.57% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Whirlpool have gained in a year's time on robust earnings surprise trend, which continued in first-quarter 2021. It reported earnings beat for the 11th straight time in the first quarter, with fourth consecutive sales beat. Results gained from increased volumes, solid execution of go-to-market endeavors, strong industry demand and cost-based pricing efforts. Notably, the company witnessed growth across all regions, with significant revenue gains and margin expansion in North America, Latin America, and EMEA regions.  Management raised its 2021 view. However, raw material cost inflation, particularly in steel and resin, is weighing on margins. It expects raw material cost inflations to hurt business by $1 billion in 2021, with a peak expected in Q3. Also, increased investments in marketing and technology have been hurting EBIT margin.”

WHR has been the topic of several other reports. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on Whirlpool from $201.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a report on Friday, April 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on Whirlpool from $258.00 to $261.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Whirlpool has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $209.50.

Shares of WHR stock opened at $217.25 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $226.21. Whirlpool has a one year low of $143.27 and a one year high of $257.68. The company has a market capitalization of $13.61 billion, a PE ratio of 10.15, a PEG ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 0.92.

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 21st. The company reported $6.64 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $6.00 by $0.64. Whirlpool had a return on equity of 32.25% and a net margin of 6.65%. The business had revenue of $5.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.03 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.15 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 31.7% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that Whirlpool will post 24.19 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CEO Marc R. Bitzer sold 64,802 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $236.40, for a total transaction of $15,319,192.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Gilles Morel sold 5,086 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $240.23, for a total value of $1,221,809.78. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 2,293 shares in the company, valued at $550,847.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 210,609 shares of company stock worth $50,730,909. Insiders own 1.35% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of WHR. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new position in shares of Whirlpool during the first quarter worth approximately $33,000. Global Retirement Partners LLC grew its holdings in Whirlpool by 443.8% during the first quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 174 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,000 after buying an additional 142 shares in the last quarter. Exchange Traded Concepts LLC grew its holdings in Whirlpool by 345.2% during the first quarter. Exchange Traded Concepts LLC now owns 187 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,000 after buying an additional 145 shares in the last quarter. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC bought a new stake in Whirlpool during the first quarter worth $44,000. Finally, Total Clarity Wealth Management Inc. bought a new stake in Whirlpool during the first quarter worth $44,000. 89.75% of the stock is currently 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 refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, and refrigerator water filters; laundry appliances and related laundry accessories; cooking and other small domestic appliances; and dishwasher appliances and related accessories, as well as mixers.

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