Whirlpool Shares Dropped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of whitewares veteran Whirlpool (NYS: WHR) look neither clean nor white today, dripping as much as 15.6% of red market ink on very heavy volume.

So what: In last night's third-quarter report, Whirlpool missed analyst targets, guided to further weakness amid slow consumer demand, announced big job cuts, and decided to close a factory in Arkansas. Even the strong foreign sales that have rescued Whirlpool from domestic troubles in the past are sliding down the drain.

Now what: "We're not particularly interested in selling appliances at a loss," said CEO Jeff Fettig to explain the cuts. No kidding. If disinterested consumers weren't enough, Whirlpool is also facing new competition from Korean conglomerates Samsung and LG in the aisles of your local Best Buy (NYS: BBY) , Sears (NAS: SHLD) , and Home Depot (NYS: HD) . The Korean companies are only too happy to slash prices to gain a foothold in America. Let's just say that Mr. Fettig isn't planning a vacation with friends in Seoul anytime soon.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. He is planning to buy a new washer and dryer set very soon (the old ones broke down after 11 years), and obviously expects a nice fruit basket from whichever appliance maker wins his business. The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of The Home Depot. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls in Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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