Whirlpool Sees Unusually High Options Volume (NYSE:WHR)

Whirlpool Co. (NYSE:WHR) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock traders acquired 5,236 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 634% compared to the average volume of 713 call options.

NYSE WHR opened at $137.95 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.10, a P/E/G ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 1.63. Whirlpool has a 52-week low of $99.40 and a 52-week high of $180.00.

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 28th. The company reported $4.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $4.30 by $0.45. The company had revenue of $5.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.76 billion. Whirlpool had a negative net margin of 0.87% and a positive return on equity of 27.24%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $4.10 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Whirlpool will post 14.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several research analysts recently commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded shares of Whirlpool from a “sector perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $134.60 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. Raymond James downgraded shares of Whirlpool from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Whirlpool from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 19th. Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of Whirlpool in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $135.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $125.00 target price on shares of Whirlpool in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $146.40.

In other news, Director Michael F. Johnston sold 2,845 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.54, for a total transaction of $379,921.30. Following the transaction, the director now owns 6,550 shares in the company, valued at approximately $874,687. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 2.83% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WHR. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in Whirlpool by 9,212.2% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,303,672 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 3,268,195 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. grew its position in Whirlpool by 8,342.6% in the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 3,119,608 shares of the company’s stock worth $333,393,000 after purchasing an additional 3,082,657 shares during the last quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA grew its position in Whirlpool by 36.1% in the 3rd quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 7,650,140 shares of the company’s stock worth $908,454,000 after purchasing an additional 2,030,902 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management boosted its position in shares of Whirlpool by 15.2% during the 3rd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 2,187,560 shares of the company’s stock valued at $259,772,000 after acquiring an additional 288,480 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ceredex Value Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Whirlpool during the 3rd quarter valued at about $28,922,000. Institutional investors own 96.98% of the company’s stock.

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About Whirlpool

Whirlpool Corporation manufactures and markets home appliances and related products. It operates through four segments: North America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Latin America; and Asia. The company's principal products include laundry appliances, refrigerators and freezers, cooking appliances, dishwashers, mixers, and other small domestic appliances.

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