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Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR): Closing price $118.88
At the Raymond James Annual Institutional Investors Conference, Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North America commented that the “fundamentals of business have changed.” Bitzer went on to say that earnings have been improving for six or seven quarters but there is basically no volume growth in margin improvement and the strength of margins is very different than it was a few years ago. The health of Whirlpool earnings and margin has been based on cost reduction and pricing. The company is also very optimistic on global demand and cites the product pipeline, which is healthy. Bitzer spoke of some material cost headwinds but “not remotely close” to what it was three or four years ago. Shares closed up 1.3 percent on the day at $118.88, and have been traded in a 52-week range of $54.08 to $117.63.
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