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Home Furnishing Stocks to Post Q1 Earnings This Week: LEG, WHR

With the Q1 earnings season well underway, earnings results for over half of the S&P 500 members will be out by the end of this week. Though 2016 started on a soft note, leading to a major downtrend in estimates, the financial numbers released so far give us a somewhat positive picture.

Evidently, out of the 132 S&P 500 members that have reported Q1 results as of Apr 22, 2016, about 77.3% beat EPS estimates, while 56.1% exceeded revenue estimates – per the latest Earnings Trend Report.

Among all sectors, the Consumer Discretionary sector seems to be brimming with confidence. As of Friday, 21.6% of the total number of S&P 500 companies in this sector had reported their results, with a whopping 87.5% having delivered an earnings beat and about half surpassing revenue estimates. While earnings surged 26.7% year over year, revenue growth was relatively soft at 8.2%, mainly due to the ongoing foreign currency headwinds.

These factors, along with positives like an increase in gross domestic product (up 1.4%), a favorable job scenario, heightened consumer confidence and constant housing market recovery, usher in confidence about the home furnishing space – that forms an essential part of the Consumer Discretionary sector.

Here we take a sneak peek at two home furnishing names, lined up to report earnings over this week (Apr 25–29).

Home appliances manufacturer, Whirlpool Corp. WHR is scheduled to release first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 26. Analysts remain optimistic about Whirlpool’s strategic endeavors to improve margins on the back of cost- and capacity-reduction initiatives, encouraging price/mix, growth in adjacent businesses, and synergies arising from the integration of acquisitions. However, foreign currency headwinds and softness across emerging markets, which are hampering demand, raise concerns.

Notably, the company’s past performance reveals that it surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the preceding three quarters. Though Whirlpool carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), its Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult. (Read more: Whirlpool to Report Q1 Earnings: What to Expect?)

Taking a look at Leggett & Platt, Incorporated LEG, we note that this leading engineered products’ manufacturer is slated to report its first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 29. Leggett has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters, with an average positive earnings surprise of 13.6%. Currently, the company’s Earnings ESP is pegged at 0.00%, while it carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Analysts expect unit volume growth, efficient pricing and disciplined capital allocation to have a favorable impact on the quarter to be reported. The company’s strategic endeavors, which involve divestment of low-performing businesses, improvement in margins and returns, along with attainment of top-line growth of 4–5% annually, bode well. Despite these positives, factors like foreign currency headwinds and raw material price deflation may weigh upon the company’s performance. (Read more: Leggett & Platt Q1 Earnings: A Surprise in Store?)

Check later on our full write-up on earnings releases of these stocks.

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WHIRLPOOL CORP (WHR): Free Stock Analysis Report
LEGGETT & PLATT (LEG): Free Stock Analysis Report
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