In a bid to expand the footprint and serve customers better, Whirlpool Corporation WHR opened a new state-of-the-art factory distribution center ("FDC") in Tulsa, OK. The facility is located adjacent to its existing manufacturing plant in the region. This plant produces freestanding and slide-in ranges under the Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, KitchenAid and JennAir brand names.
The company has invested $55 million in the new facility, which is likely to double the size of its presence in Tulsa. Moreover, the 800,000-square-feet facility will create additional 150 manufacturing jobs within the plant, once fully operational. The plant currently employs 1,710 people.
Further, the new FDC will improve the production capacity of the Tulsa plant and enhance supply-chain efficiencies across North America.
The factory distribution center is equipped with a climate control system for regulating the temperature and humidity content to provide an optimal working and storage environment. It also features a unique dock-loading equipment for the operator’s safety and a better conveyor equipment to manage inventory effectively and lower potential damage. Further, the new information systems at the facility should help control inventory, offer real-time information and enhance labor efficiency in the warehouse.
Whirlpool’s robust product pipeline, solid innovation and cost-productivity initiatives keep it on track to achieve its long-term targets through 2020. The company aims to generate organic revenue growth of 3-5% every year. Additionally, it expects the EBIT margin to exceed 10% by 2020 and earnings per share to grow 10-15% each year. Furthermore, Whirlpool anticipates delivering roughly 4-5% margins along with an 8% margin in Europe.
Although shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have lost 22.6% in the past three months, it has outperformed the industry’s decline of 26.5%.
3 Better-Ranked Consumer Discretionary Stocks
GIII Apparel Group GIII has an impressive long-term earnings growth rate of 11.4% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
lululemon athletica inc. LULU has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 18.9% and a Zacks Rank #2.
Ralph Lauren RL, also a Zacks Rank #2 stock, has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 9.6%.
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