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Whirlpool & Century Communities to Jointly Offer Chic Homes

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World’s leading home appliances manufacturer Whirlpool Corporation (WHR - Free Report) inked a one of its kind agreement with the U.S. homebuilder, Century Communities, agreeing to equip the homes built by the latter with its top-class appliances.

The contract, which extends over a three-year term, will allow Century Communities to live up to its commitment of building quality homes with lasting value. The Colorado-based homebuilder believes that the craftsmanship of the homes it builds will be enhanced by Whirlpool’s namesake, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air brand appliances. The deal is effective from Aug 1, 2016.

Century Communities is a well-known name in the U.S., ranking among the top 25 U.S. homebuilders based on homes delivered. The company builds single-family homes, townhomes and flats that incorporate high-merit designs and proficient craftsmanship in the posh areas of Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, Texas and Utah. Further, it is the parent company of Jimmy Jacobs Homes and Grand View Builders.

Benton Harbor, MI-based Whirlpool Corporation manufactures home appliances including laundry appliances, refrigerators and freezers, cooking appliances along with other small household appliances such as dishwashers and mixers. Its portfolio comprises leading brands like Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Gladiator, Affresh, Every Drop, Swash and Bauknecht.

Being one of the world’s largest manufacturers of home appliances, Whirlpool commands the global market. The company has been enhancing its presence across the globe, reducing its dependence on the North American region. As a testimony to its expansion strategy, Whirlpool acquired American Dryer Corporation, Italy-based Indesit Company S.p.A. and China’s Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. The company remains on track with the integration of these acquisitions, which will enhance its future performance.

Whirlpool, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), has gained about 10.7% year to date. However, the company underperformed the Zacks categorized Appliances-Household Market, which recorded year-to-date growth of 15.5%.

The fall in stock price can be attributed to the lingering currency headwinds and weak appliance demand in the U.S. and the UK, which hurt the company’s third-quarter 2016 results. Based on the soft demand trends as well as the further devaluation of British pound due to Brexit, Whirlpool trimmed its adjusted earnings per share forecasts for 2016. Additionally, currency headwinds are anticipated to persist and hurt its results through the rest of the year.

These factors led to a downtrend in estimates. In the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.40 for fourth-quarter 2016 fell 12 cents.

However, Whirlpool’s solid integration and cost cutting activities are expected to enhance its performance. Further, the company’s innovation strategy, which helps it to tap additional sales and gain market share, bodes well.

Zacks Rank

Better-ranked stocks in the retail sector include Boot Barn Holdings Inc. (BOOT - Free Report) , Nordstrom Inc. (JWN - Free Report) and Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Boot Barn Holdings, with a long-term earnings growth rate of 14.5%, has surged 34.4% year to date.

Nordstrom has gained nearly 12.6% year to date. Moreover, it has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.7%.

Zumiez has jumped 59.4% year to date. The stock has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15%.

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