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Whirlpool Crushes Q1 Estimates, Chipotle Mixed

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We discussed in this space this morning whether Hump Day would demonstrate a reversal of fortunes in market indexes, following record-high closes on the Dow and S&P 500 to finish last week. There have been no major economic prints to absorb; everything has been resting on Q1 earnings results, which have been good — though not as impressive as the big Wall Street banks last week. The Dow and S&P were +0.94% and +0.93%, respectively; the Nasdaq gained 1.19% and the Russell 2000 busted out +2.53% on the day.

Materials, Energy and Financials led the way by sector in Wednesday trading, +1.87%, +1.48% and +1.40%, respectively. This was most impressive on the Energy side, which was set back by a 2.6% drop in West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot crude oil prices. But no major economic segments suffered so much as a 1% loss on the day; this was a nice bounce-back from the doldrums of the early part of the week.

Household appliance major Whirlpool (WHR - Free Report) posted a huge earnings beat on its Q1 earnings report after the closing bell: $7.20 per share was way ahead of the $5.38 Zacks consensus, and represents a 255% gain over the $2.82 per share posted in the year-ago quarter. Revenues were similarly impressive in the quarter: $5.36 billion versus $4.87 billion expected. Higher margins met stronger demand for a truly stellar quarter for the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

With big upswings in both Housing and Manufacturing, Whirlpool seems to have been exactly in the sweet spot. Best of all, the company does not expect this to be a fleeting fancy; Whirlpool has also lifted its full-year earnings guidance to a range between $22.50-23.50 per share. The Zacks consensus had been $21.25 per share. The stock gained 6.5% immediately on the earnings release, but have cooled off since. Whirlpool shares are up 32.7% year to date.

Chipotle (CMG - Free Report) earnings results are also in, with a nice beat on the bottom line: $5.36 per share versus $4.92 expected, and up impressively from the $3.08 per share a year ago. But sales in the quarter were a tad below expectations: $1.74 billion versus $1.75 billion analysts were looking for. Same-store sales grew 17.2%, with an impressive 134% upswing in Digital Sales, which now make up 50% of total Chipotle purchases.

Q2 comp sales are now expected in a range of 20s-30%. The company has seen benefits from new menu items and higher prices. Shares rose in late trading around 0.5% on the news, up 14% year to date and +71% from a year ago. Chipotle has now topped earnings estimates in 13 of the past 15 quarters, with two of those misses in the trailing past four quarters.

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