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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Whirlpool, Philips, Johnson Controls International and Unilever

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 15, 2020 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Whirlpool Corporation (WHR - Free Report) , Koninklijke Philips N.V. (PHG - Free Report) , Johnson Controls International plc (JCI - Free Report) and The Unilever Group .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Wildfires, Pandemic Boosts Air Purifier Demand: 4 Winners

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the market demand and value of a wide range of things that so long didn’t have much significance in our lives. Aside from personal protective equipment like face masks, gloves and hand sanitizers, now air purifiers are in demand.

However, COVID-19 isn’t the only reason that is boosting sales of air purifiers. The massive wildfires in the West Coast have also escalated their demand. As massive wildfires ravage the West Coast, thousands of people from California to as far as Washington are experiencing smoke that's so severe that air quality index (AQI) is being impacted.

Wildfires, COVID-19 Helping Air Purifier Sales

Residents across West United States are being urged to stay indoors due to thick wildfire smoke blanketing the region. Air quality in several regions of California, Oregon, and Washington are listed as “unhealthy” or “very unhealthy,” according to AirNow, a partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, NASA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Staying indoors when the region has poor air quality due to wildfire smoke is important, but fine particles in the air can still make their way indoors.

That’s why running an air purifier or air filter can be helpful. This has resulted in a surge in air purifier sales. Air pollution leads to about 6.5 million deaths each year, making it the world’s fourth-largest threat to human health, according to a 2016 report by the International Energy Agency. The threat has only grown since then, with this year becoming an exception.

Air purifiers can, to a large extent, help people who are suffering from asthma, airborne allergies and other breathing disorders. And since COVID-19 is airborne, air purifiers have seen a surge in residential and commercial demand in the past few months as a preventive measure.

Air Purifier Market Poised to Grow

Moreover, air purifiers have almost become an indispensable part of our lives post the coronavirus outbreak. Coronavirus is primarily transmitted from an infected to a healthy person through respiratory droplets and contact routes. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, air purifiers can diminish airborne contaminants, which comprise viruses in any confined space. However, one would still need to use it along with other best practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for an ideal plan to protect oneself against the disease.

Per a report from Research and Markets, the global portable air purifier market was valued at $8.27 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $13.75 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 12.1% from 2020 to 2027. According to a new market report published by Industry Research, the global air purifier market was valued at $19,232 million in 2017 and is expected to witness a CAGR of more than 32.4% from 2018 to 2024, reaching $182,101.1 million by the end of the forecast period.

Our Choices

Given the growing cases of coronavirus being reported in the United States since states started reopening, the importance of air purifiers will only grow from here. We have shortlisted four stocks in this space that are poised to grow in the near term due to the surging demand for air purifiers. Each of our picks carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Whirlpool is one of the largest manufacturers of home appliances in the world. Besides, it also produces hermetic compressors for refrigeration systems and offers quality air purification solutions. According to Whirlpool, the company’s HEPA purifiers are capable of removing as much as 99.97% of particles from air.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 27.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 24.8% over the past 60 days.

Koninklijke Philips operates as a health technology company worldwide. The company manufactures smart air purifiers and humidifiers. The products come with HEPA filters for increased protection. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 20.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 17.5% over the past 60 days. 

Johnson Controls offers a wide range of filtration products. From residential and commercial buildings, to clean room environments, the company is committed to offering best-in-class, reliable filtration products every time.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 12.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 14.6% over the past 60 days. 

Unilever entered the air purifier space with the acquisition of Sweden-based Blue-Air, which has been one of the market leaders in air purifying solutions with the leading edge of filtration technologies and design.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 3.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 7.6% over the past 30 days. 

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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