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Investors Aren't Entirely Convinced About Whirlpool Corporation's (NYSE:WHR) Earnings

Simply Wall St

With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 13.2x Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) may be sending bullish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in the United States have P/E ratios greater than 19x and even P/E's higher than 38x are not unusual. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's limited.

Whirlpool has been struggling lately as its earnings have declined faster than most other companies. It seems that many are expecting the dismal earnings performance to persist, which has repressed the P/E. You'd much rather the company wasn't bleeding earnings if you still believe in the business. Or at the very least, you'd be hoping the earnings slide doesn't get any worse if your plan is to pick up some stock while it's out of favour.

Check out our latest analysis for Whirlpool


Keen to find out how analysts think Whirlpool's future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

How Is Whirlpool's Growth Trending?

There's an inherent assumption that a company should underperform the market for P/E ratios like Whirlpool's to be considered reasonable.

Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 7.9% decrease to the company's bottom line. Still, the latest three year period has seen an excellent 30% overall rise in EPS, in spite of its unsatisfying short-term performance. Although it's been a bumpy ride, it's still fair to say the earnings growth recently has been more than adequate for the company.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the ten analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 11% each year over the next three years. That's shaping up to be similar to the 12% per year growth forecast for the broader market.

In light of this, it's peculiar that Whirlpool's P/E sits below the majority of other companies. Apparently some shareholders are doubtful of the forecasts and have been accepting lower selling prices.

The Final Word

The price-to-earnings ratio's power isn't primarily as a valuation instrument but rather to gauge current investor sentiment and future expectations.

We've established that Whirlpool currently trades on a lower than expected P/E since its forecast growth is in line with the wider market. When we see an average earnings outlook with market-like growth, we assume potential risks are what might be placing pressure on the P/E ratio. At least the risk of a price drop looks to be subdued, but investors seem to think future earnings could see some volatility.

Before you take the next step, you should know about the 3 warning signs for Whirlpool (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that we have uncovered.

If these risks are making you reconsider your opinion on Whirlpool, explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.