Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) Jumps on Outlook

Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) CEO Jeff Fettig expressed confidence in the company, despite the "Brexit" uncertainty

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 28, 2016 at 10:05 AM

After two days of sharp losses, the stock market is roaring back out of the gate -- as history suggested it would. Participating in the rally is Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR), after the home appliance maker reaffirmed its full-year guidance, despite the "Brexit" vote creating "a number of uncertainties ... that will take some time to play out," according to CEO Jeff Fettig. At last check, WHR shares have gained 3.2% at $159.42.

This is a welcome sight for shareholders, who had watched the stock tumble a total of 13.6% on Friday and Monday -- and land below its 200-day moving average for the first time since March. On the other hand, WHR options traders may not be so happy. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.21 ranks in the 94th annual percentile, suggesting speculators are very put-skewed when it comes to options expiring in the next three months.

The put preference is even more pronounced when looking at near-the-money strikes in the July series. Specifically, WHR's front-month gamma-weighted SOIR checks in at 2.41, with put open interest more than doubling call open interest. Peak open interest among all options resides at the now in-the-money July 170 put, and based on data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), a significant percentage of these puts have been bought to open -- confirming traders have been wagering on near-term downside for WHR.

Outside of the options pits, the brokerage crowd remains in Whirlpool Corporation's (NYSE:WHR) bullish corner. Eight analysts currently rate the stock a "strong buy," compared to one "hold" recommendation and not a single "sell." On top of that, WHR's average 12-month price target of $205 sits in annual-high territory, and represents a 28.6% premium to the stock's current perch.

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