|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's range||126.63 - 126.63|
|52-week range||126.63 - 126.63|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.99|
|PE ratio (TTM)||12.18|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||N/A|
Home appliance company Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) announced this week in an SEC filing that it expects to pay between $260 million and $280 million in restructuring costs this year, including severance pay for terminated workers. Whirlpool earlier launched cost-cutting initiatives such as limiting business travel, furloughing employees, and encouraging voluntary retirements. Whirlpool has not yet said how many employees will be terminated as a result of the new decision.
Despite a soft sales view, Whirlpool's (WHR) cost-containment initiatives and efforts to strengthen liquidity are likely to help it stay afloat amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- After a prolonged shutdown, Ford Motor Co. officially resumed production at its North American factories this week. It hasn’t been as smooth a process as the company might have hoped: Ford had to temporarily close two critical facilities this week to allow for a deep cleaning after workers tested positive for the coronavirus. An Explorer SUV plant in Chicago was closed a second time after an employee at a nearby supplier facility tested positive for the virus, causing a parts shortage.This is the reality of manufacturing for the time being as companies fret about worker safety and the legal and reputational risks of not doing enough to protect employees. Unlike Ford, whose products fall into a category of consumer spending that’s become even more discretionary amid the pandemic, wide swaths of the industrial sector were deemed essential and allowed to remain operational. Those companies, too, have had their share of growing pains as they adjust to a new way of working.Boeing Co. temporarily closed its factories in the Puget Sound area in March after a worker died of the coronavirus and later briefly shuttered work at its 787 plant in South Carolina. CBS Minnesota reported earlier this month that a Honeywell International Inc. facility in Minneapolis had closed after a worker tested positive. Whirlpool Corp. closed its Amana, Iowa, refrigerator plant at least twice after employees tested positive for the virus, according to the Gazette local paper. Deere & Co. and Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA are among the many others that have had to close plants on a limited basis to avoid outbreaks among workers. Lockheed Martin Corp., meanwhile, said this week it will temporarily slow production of the F-35 fighter jet because of delays at suppliers. It’s a lot harder, though, to bring factories back to life than it is to just figure it out as you go along. Ford may be a manufacturer, but because it’s one of the few to have experienced an extended lockdown, it’s arguably a better benchmark for the non-industrial economy. You better believe that office-based companies that have sent most of their workers home are keeping a close eye on how the likes of Ford fare in flipping the switch back on. Seeing the automaker’s setbacks this week, companies that can operate without their employees clustered in the same place may be less keen to rush back. They’re getting a more continuous stream of work out of their employees now than they would if they had to hit the pause button and clear out the office every few weeks. And the mixed messages from the White House aren't helpful: President Donald Trump is due to visit a Ford factory in Michigan that’s been converted to ventilator production and has been wishy-washy on whether he will adhere to the company’s face-mask requirements. Already, American Express Co. CEO Steve Squeri and Visa Inc. CEO Al Kelly said this week that most of their employees would work from home for the rest of the year. Some 28% of employers recently surveyed by Challenger, Gray & Christmas said they would make work-from-home arrangements permanent for at least some employees. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and social media site Twitter Inc. are among those who have publicly said remote working will be their indefinite default option. Facebook Inc. said Thursday it would follow suit and move to a more permanent remote workforce.At the end of the day, manufacturing or non-manufacturing, it's all interconnected. How permanent this shift to work from home will be is debatable, but if companies end up needing less office space, by default that means fewer HVAC systems, commercial lighting, fire and security products or even 3M Co.’s Post-it notes. And if workers aren’t going to be commuting, do they still need to buy cars from Ford? There's a lot riding on getting reopening right. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- I’m used to getting emails touting some startup’s plan for world domination. So when I got one from the CEO of a wind-energy firm with the subject line “Heading for the cliff,” I actually read it. It helped I had spoken already with Jereme Kent, who founded and runs One Energy Enterprises LLC, about a year ago. But it was more what you might call the radical candor of the message that got my attention.Based in Findlay, Ohio, One Energy designs, installs and runs distributed wind turbines and associated high-voltage site networks at industrial facilities. Distributed wind power — as opposed to big wind farms of multiple turbines — accounts for only about 1% of the overall wind fleet but capacity rose almost four-fold in the 10 years through 2018(1). One Energy has been around for a decade and installed roughly 40 megawatts of capacity so far, with appliance-maker Whirlpool Corp. and cement giant LafargeHolcim Ltd. among its clients. It touts the benefits of, among other things, reliability, hedged power costs, optimized energy use and, of course, green bragging rights. With turbines running at $3 million apiece, and maybe 1-3 per site, these aren’t utility-scale projects, but they are big-ticket items for a startup nonetheless, with contracts paying out over 20 years or more. So liquidity and access to capital mean everything. As Kent put it to me on a recent call: “Look, you have to learn about money and finance because if you’re an engineer who figures out how to cure cancer, but you can’t finance it, cancer’s not cured.”In 2016, One Energy needed a step-change in funding to fuel its next phase of growth. Having tried (and failed) to securitize projects with wind bonds, the company announced in January 2017 it had closed on an $80 million package of institutional funding, structured as senior and subordinated debt. This seemingly addressed both of One Energy’s broad financing needs, with the majority earmarked for projects and some to run the business too. Rather than financial covenants, it stipulated a certain pace of development in terms of project installations.The problem with this approach began to dawn on One Energy relatively quickly: namely, lack of flexibility. According to Kent, a delay of several months in the delivery of some turbines put the company in default on its installations covenant. This was waived, but it wasn’t the last time.In each instance, One Energy had to recalibrate itself to get back on schedule, ultimately creating a “growth at all costs mindset,” as Kent puts it. Growth is essential, of course, but the risk is spiraling costs and strains on operations. While Kent says “we didn’t have kombucha in the fountains,” the growth imperative had a negative impact in other ways. For example, with the emphasis on getting any new projects executed as fast as possible, the company hired preemptively to have people in place ahead of new contracts being signed. This was a change of pace from the prior approach, inevitably raising overhead (and compounding the default). Kent says that while turnover was low at the operating level, all executives hired after 2016 ultimately left. That’s a lot of invested time and money slipping out the door.One Energy has spent much of the past year or so trying to find new investors to take out the existing debt facility and provide a new source of project financing. Besides the distraction involved, when potential new funding deals fell through — one on closing day — that meant suspending new sales and, ultimately, firing more than half the employees. It’s the definition of a spiral.The nub of the problem here was One Energy’s reliance on debt, in effect treating the higher-cost subordinated tranche in its original financing round as something approximating equity. However, while equity tends to be patient about stuff like project delays, debt is debt — and default is toxic. Ideally, the company would have raised a big slug of project finance to feed the project pipeline and then hustled up an equity buffer to fund the business and absorb the inevitable setbacks.Rob Day is a partner at Spring Lane Capital, a Boston-based fund that invests project equity and corporate funding in startups operating distributed assets in sustainability-linked industries like energy and water. “Rarely have I seen in clean-tech that companies fail because they picked a bad market or the tech didn’t work out. What hits these companies more often than not is financing,” he says. A particular problem, according to Day, is a relative dearth of funding options between venture capital and traditional project finance targeting large-scale projects.Apart from describing the gap Spring Lane aims to fill, that also pretty much sums up One Energy’s struggle to secure a capital structure that fits its in between model: small-but-big-ticket and poised between initial projects and accelerated expansion. Competition between centralized and distributed resources is a defining characteristic of today’s energy market, with the narrative often framed in terms of this or that technology. One Energy’s experience is a reminder that new entrants need as much innovation on the money front as they do in the workshop.(1) Source: Department of Energy's "2018 Distributed Wind Market Report".To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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