The stock has had a wild year so far rising well over 60% by the middle of March only to decline by about 31% by the middle of June and is more recently rebounding such that it is still higher by about 30% on the year. If you catch Whirlpool just right, you could get a nice housing-related trade.
Lennar and Toll Brothers
These are two of the largest homebuilders in the U.S. They not only survived the housing crisis but may be better coming out of it.
Lennar (LEN), a nationwide builder of moderately priced homes, earned 21 cents in its most recent quarter, better than analysts' expectations of 20 cents. According to CEO Stuart Miller, "Evidence from the field suggests that the 'for sale' housing market has, in fact, bottomed and that we have commenced a slow and steady recovery process."Toll Brothers (TOL) is one of the best-managed homebuilders in the country. It is also a high-end manufacturer of new single-family and multifamily dwellings, such as condos. The company is ahead of its peers, turning a profit last year. Those profits are expected to nearly double in 2012 and then double again in 2013 to 94 cents per share. Revenue growth of 19% is expected in 2012 and 27% in 2013. Plum Creek Timber Plum Creek Timber (PCL) grows, harvests and sells timber and manufactures forest products such as lumber and plywood. The company is structured as a real estate investment trust, or REIT. As such, it acts as a pass-through vehicle for tax purposes and pays an above-market distribution of about 4.2% of its market price. This payout has remained stable since 2007 despite the fall-off in demand for timber products when the housing market went into decline. As the construction market for housing picks up, so should the demand for lumber. This will result in increased cash flow, earnings and payouts for Plum Creek Timber shareholders. Valspar Valspar (VAL) is a specialty chemical company that produces paints and coatings. Valspar paints are featured at Lowe's (LOW) home improvement stores as well as other independent dealers throughout the country.
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