Whirlpool as Housing Recovery Play?

Wednesday, 5 Jun 2013 | 6:43 PM ET
Street Fight & the Homebuilder ETF
Wednesday, 5 Jun 2013 | 5:30 PM ET
A Street Fight over Whirlpool, with Grasso the Bull and Seymour the Bear. A look at XHB, the homebuilder ETF, with Mike Khouw. And Tesla stages a midday comeback.

Amid worries that rising mortgage interest rates could slow the housing recovery, appliance maker Whirlpool could be one way to play the sector – or could take a big hit, depending on which "Fast Money" trader's arguments bear out.

Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso was bullish on the stock.

"First of all, the efficiency replacement, just that alone, has enough to compensate for any type of damage the that housing market receeding will do to Whirlpool," he said Wednesday on CNBC. "Whirlpool up 70 percent year to date, still in the winner's circle."

Grasso also said that investors continued to like winners.

(Read More: What to Fear Amid Rising Interest Rates)

"People revert back to what's working," he added. "Whirlpool's still working."

Grasso looked to competitors LG, whose stock was trading at 21 times earnings, and Electrolux at 31 multiple.

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Tim Seymour of EmergingMoney.com wasn't a buyer.

"At 15 times current earnings, this is an expensive stock," he said, noting that it was about 0.3 percent "higher than it should be."

Seymour said that Whirlpool's revenues and sales volumes for the first quarter were down, even though the appliance industry had recovered along with housing.

"Look at Home Depot, Best Buy," he added. "Those are nice read-throughs for Whirlpool."

Seymour said that he loved the company.

(Watch Video: Will Rising Rates Rankle Housing Recovery?)

"This is an emerging-market appliance company. In fact, most of their sales are coming from outside North America at this point," he said. "At least it's evenly split."

Also, six straight quarters of negative growth for Whirlpool, while the rest of the sector was growing, did not bode well for the company, Seymour added.

"This company is actually losing ground despite the fact that globally, they are very focused and very good," he said.

Trader disclosure: On June 5, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long C; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is long GM; Karen Finerman is long JCP PUTS, SHORT DEBT; Karen Finerman is long M; Karen Finerman is short SPY; Karen Finerman is short MDY Puts; Dan Nathan is long VIX JUN 16/20 CALL SPREAD; Dan Nathan is short SPY; Dan Nathan is long XLE JUN 80/77 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long FB JUN/JULY 25 CALL SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long MS JUNE WEEKLY 25 PUTS; Tim Seymour is long AAPL; Tim Seymour is long BAC; Tim Seymour is long SBUX; Tim Seymour is long GM; Steve Grasso is long ASTM; Steve Grasso is long BA; Steve Grasso is long BAC; Steve Grasso is long GDX; Steve Grasso is long LNG; Steve Grasso is long MHY; Steve Grasso is long MJNA; Steve Grasso is long NVIV; Steve Grasso is long PFE; Steve Grasso is long QCOM; Steve Grasso is long S; Steve Grasso is funds long F; Steve Grasso is funds long GM; Steve Grasso is funds long PAY; Steve Grasso is funds long HPQ; Steve Grasso is funds long ZNGA; Steve Grasso is funds long NEM; Steve Grasso is funds long MU.

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