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Whirlpool's (WHR) Professional Website Launch to Boost Sales

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Whirlpool Corporation’s (WHR - Free Report) association with building industry professionals — including builders, designers, architects, distributors and others — is not new. The company has strengthened relationship with the industry professionals over decades by offering innovative solutions for home, with its state-of-the-art designs, connectivity and sustainability.

Whirlpool took a major leap in strengthening this alliance with the launch of its latest “Whirlpool Pro” website, designed mainly to cater to the needs of professionals in the building space, its key partners.

The website is developed, keeping in mind needs of trade professionals, and offers customized content and resources for every major industry group. It is designed for providing unique tools and solutions to building professionals for enhanced customer service.

Some of the key features of the website, aimed at unwinding improved understanding for builders and other professionals, include unique resources and tools; background and analysis of homeowners for better understanding of consumer trends; details of latest innovations from Whirlpool; and enhanced search capability and greater mobile compatibility.

The new professional website, along with its recent industry-focused marketing campaign “Count on Us”, reflects the company’s commitment to providing quality appliances, innovations and dependable services.

The aforementioned campaign has kicked-off with advertisements in various industry publications, which direct professionals to the new Whirlpool Pro website. This latest website replaces the company’s prior trade website — Inside Advantage.

This news did not boost to the company’s stock much, which closed after declining 2.7% on Oct 2. Overall, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has witnessed a decline of 6.9% in the past month, wider than the industry’s fall of 4.5%. The company’s graph mainly suffers on account of increased raw material prices, lower sales volumes and adverse foreign currency translation.

 



We note that increased tariffs on steel, due to the Trump administration’s global trade war, are hurting Whirlpool as steel is the main raw material for the company.

This maker of Kitchen Aid, Maytag and other home appliances witnessed significantly higher raw material costs in three out of its four regional markets — including North America, Asia and EMEA — in second-quarter 2018. Additionally, a struggling EMEA segment due to charges booked in the European operations and antitrust settlement in France, alongside a trucker strike in Brazil, have been other headwinds for the company.

These factors dented Whirlpool’s top- and bottom-line performances for quite a while. Clearly, the company reported negative earnings surprise in seven out of the last eight quarters while second-quarter 2018 marked its fifth straight quarter of top-line miss. Moreover, the company trimmed its GAAP and adjusted earnings view for 2018 due to raw material cost inflation and other factors.

However, the company’s stringent focus on long-term goals for 2020 and innovation strategy, as well as global cost-based pricing and fixed cost-reduction strategies, is a silver lining. These strategies should aid Whirlpool in the long run.

Looking for Attractive Consumer Discretionary Stocks? Check These

Some better-ranked stocks in the Consumer Discretionary sector are Columbia Sportswear Company (COLM - Free Report) , Guess?, Inc. (GES - Free Report) and G-III Apparel Group, LTD. (GIII - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Columbia Sportswear pulled off an average positive earnings surprise of 79.3% in the last four quarters. The company has long-term earnings growth rate of 10.8%.

Guess?, with an impressive earnings growth rate of 17.5%, delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 8.8% in the trailing four quarters.

G-III Apparel has long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. Further, the company’s earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, with average beat of 430.2%.

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