Whirlpool Corporation (WHR - Analyst Report) , the world’s largest maker of home appliances, remains on our Outperform list as it continues to post robust quarterly results, provides impressive fiscal 2013 outlook and sustains growth through its innovative products and enhancement of global footprint.
Driven by sustained focus on cost and capacity reduction initiatives, along with better price and product mix, Whirlpool reported outstanding bottom-line results for the fourth quarter of 2012. Adjusted quarterly earnings of $2.29 per share were significantly higher than the year-ago quarter’s earnings of 32 cents and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.22. The average positive surprise in the trailing four quarters comes to 9.0%. Moreover, Whirlpool's cost and capacity reduction measures are noteworthy, resulting in improved margins.
Buoyed by better-than-expected bottom-line performance, Whirlpool expects to deliver adjusted earnings in the range of $9.25–$9.75 per share in 2013, up 31%–38% from 2012. Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 stands at $9.54 per share which had risen 2.8% in the last 30 days.
Apart from strong fourth-quarter results, Whirlpool’s growth story looks compelling. We believe that the company’s sustained focus on developing new products along with cost-reduction initiatives and diversification of business across the world to eliminate the geographical risk arising from concentration in one region, bodes well for future growth.
Over the last 101 years, Whirlpool has emerged as the leading manufacturer and supplier of major home appliances. Whirlpool is considered to be the largest home-appliances manufacturer in the world, ahead of Electrolux AB (ELUXY - Snapshot Report) , LG, Samsung and General Electric Co. (GE - Analyst Report) . Moreover, the company is placed among the leading home appliances makers in India and Europe.
Other Stocks to Consider
Currently, Whirlpool has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Apart from Whirlpool, other stock worth considering in the home furnishing-appliance industry is Haier Electronics Group Company, Ltd. , which also holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).