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Why Whirlpool Stock Gained 15% in November

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Dec 6, 2018 at 9:25AM

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Investors reacted to conflicting news about the appliance retailer's global sales trends.

What happened

Shares of home appliance specialist Whirlpool ( WHR -0.72% ) beat the market last month, posting a 15% increase compared to a 1.8% uptick in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally erased just a portion of the stock's recent losses, and Whirlpool remains lower by more than 25% so far in 2018.

A woman turns on a washer machine.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

November's boost came as investors continued to digest Whirlpool's third-quarter report, which was released late in the previous month. That announcement showed steady sales in the core U.S. market, which surprised many who follow the stock given the ongoing liquidation of Sears, an important retailing partner. Specifically, revenue rose 5% in the U.S, which helped offset a sharp drop in Whirlpool's European segment.

Now what

CEO Marc Bitzer and his team announced a stepped-up restructuring plan aimed at getting Whirlpool's manufacturing commitment back in line with lower sales volumes in Europe. These moves won't be enough to immediately produce improved earnings results from the division, but investors will be watching for a rebound starting in 2019.

In the meantime, Whirlpool is targeting adjusted earnings per share of between $14.50 and $14.80 for 2018, or a bit more than its prior forecast range of between $14.20 and $14.80.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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