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

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.”

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

WHR stock opened at $118.94 on Tuesday. Whirlpool has a 12-month low of $118.72 and a 12-month high of $190.73. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.43, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.59. The company has a market capitalization of $7.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.66, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.58.

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 23rd. The company reported $3.20 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.63 by ($0.43). Whirlpool had a positive return on equity of 20.73% and a negative net margin of 2.62%. The business had revenue of $5.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $3.35 EPS. The business’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 fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 31st were paid a $1.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 30th. This represents a $4.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.87%. Whirlpool’s payout ratio is presently 33.48%.

In other news, Director Diane M. Dietz bought 1,600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 26th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $124.26 per share, for a total transaction of $198,816.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 8,339 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,036,204.14. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 2.83% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Assetmark Inc. grew its stake in Whirlpool by 88.1% in the 1st quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 334 shares during the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Whirlpool in the 2nd quarter valued at $111,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC acquired a new position in Whirlpool in the 2nd quarter valued at $123,000. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Whirlpool in the 1st quarter valued at $126,000. Finally, Norway Savings Bank acquired a new position in Whirlpool in the 2nd quarter valued at $132,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.11% of the company’s stock.

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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