Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Whirlpool has underperformed the industry in the last three months due to its dismal earnings trend in recent quarters. Notably, the company delivered fourth consecutive negative earnings surprise in second-quarter 2017. Also, top line lagged estimates. The company slashed earnings guidance for 2017 due to higher raw material costs and lower product price/mix in China and Europe. However, the quarter was marked by continued strength in North America and Latin America, which aided top line growth year over year. Also, the company witnessed sequential operating margin improvement in the EMEA region. Going forward, it anticipates profitable growth in the EMEA region in the second half of 2017 and expects to navigate through the volatility in emerging markets. The company’s growth strategies, disciplined operational execution and balanced capital allocation bode well. Moreover, it remains on track for reaching long-term revenue growth targets.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Whirlpool Corporation from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Whirlpool Corporation in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. They issued a neutral rating and a $208.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a top pick rating and issued a $216.00 price objective (down from $226.00) on shares of Whirlpool Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $194.71.

Shares of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE WHR) opened at 177.88 on Friday. Whirlpool Corporation has a one year low of $145.91 and a one year high of $202.99. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $191.25 and its 200-day moving average price is $181.51. The stock has a market cap of $12.98 billion, a PE ratio of 17.80 and a beta of 1.81.

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $3.35 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.54 by $0.19. Whirlpool Corporation had a net margin of 3.61% and a return on equity of 18.17%. The business had revenue of $5.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.35 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $3.50 earnings per share. Whirlpool Corporation’s revenue was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Whirlpool Corporation will post $15.01 earnings per share for the current year.

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Whirlpool Corporation announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, July 26th that permits the company to repurchase $2.35 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 16.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, insider Marc R. Bitzer sold 19,314 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $183.84, for a total value of $3,550,685.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 2.69% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Private Trust Co. NA increased its stake in Whirlpool Corporation by 1.1% in the first quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 4,705 shares of the company’s stock worth $806,000 after buying an additional 52 shares in the last quarter. Bremer Trust National Association increased its stake in Whirlpool Corporation by 6.2% in the first quarter. Bremer Trust National Association now owns 13,039 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,234,000 after buying an additional 764 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its stake in Whirlpool Corporation by 8.0% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 9,164 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,570,000 after buying an additional 678 shares in the last quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC increased its stake in Whirlpool Corporation by 7.3% in the first quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC now owns 3,992 shares of the company’s stock worth $684,000 after buying an additional 270 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in Whirlpool Corporation by 6.9% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 98,024 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,795,000 after buying an additional 6,347 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.82% of the company’s stock.

Whirlpool Corporation Company Profile

Whirlpool Corporation is a manufacturer and marketer of home appliances. The Company’s segments include North America; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Latin America, and Asia. In North America, the Company markets and distributes home appliances and small domestic appliances under a range of brand names.

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Analyst Recommendations for Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR)

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