Trump Tariff Lifts Whirlpool Shares Before Earnings

WHR stock gapped lower after earnings in October

Jan 23, 2018 at 10:04 AM
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It's set to be a big week for Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) stock. Ahead of the company's quarterly earnings release tomorrow night, WHR shares are surging after a tariff win. Specifically, the Trump administration imposed steep tariffs on imported washing machines, which Whirlpool Chairman Jeffrey Fettig said "caps nearly a decade of litigation and will result in new manufacturing jobs" across several states. Below, we take a look at WHR stock and how options traders are speculating ahead of earnings.

WHR shares are up 5.3% at $175.52, challenging their 200-day moving average, which hasn't been toppled on a daily closing basis since an October bear gap that stemmed from ugly earnings and Sears breakup news. In fact, Whirlpool stock has moved lower in the session after four of its last five earnings reports.

Looking back eight quarters, WHR shares have moved 4.1%, on average, in the session after earnings, regardless of direction. This time around, the options market is pricing in a bigger-than-usual 5.3% swing for the stock, per at-the-money implied volatility data. Although absolute options volume runs light on Whirlpool, near-term traders are much more call-heavy than usual ahead of earnings. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.83 is in just the 1st percentile of its annual range.

Meanwhile, short sellers have been jumping ship on the appliance maker; short interest fell 21.4% during the past two reporting periods. However, it would still take about a week to buy back the remaining bearish bets, at WHR stock's average daily trading volume.

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