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Tickers in this Article: PHG, GE, WHR
Although the macroeconomic outlook remains cloudy, a few stocks are worth scooping up at current levels. Each is an appliance company.

Some appliance stocks to consider are:

General Electric (NYSE:GE)
Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG)
Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR)


Top Pick
Connecticut-based General Electric (NYSE:GE) is a diversified giant headed by Jeff Immelt. The company, which has been operational for more than 100 years, has survived extremely difficult times already. In addition, the company has created an invaluable reputation for itself and has expanded its reach far beyond domestic borders. Specifically, it generated more than 50% of its revenue from outside of the U.S. in 2008. A cascade of insider buying earlier in the year can be taken as a vote of confidence by GE management that a rebound is on the horizon, that it's just a matter of when.

Future Prosperity On Population Growth
But the most intriguing thing about GE is the fact that requirements for its products will rise as the population increases. For example, the company offers an array of appliances such as freezers and ovens - things we would have trouble living without. In the short-term, as consumers stretch their dollars and curtail spending, demand will remain tepid. But over the long run, demand will soar as existing appliances wear out and as new home construction perks up again.

In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the U.S. population to be more than 304 million people. And, in a February 2008 report, the Pew Research Center stated: "If current trends continue, the population of the United States will rise to 438 million in 2050." In addition, in 2005, CNN reported on a U.N. survey that indicated the world's population could reach 9.1 billion by 2050. (For further reading on the effects of demography on stock picking, read Forces That Move Stock Prices and Demographic Trends And The Implications For Investment.)

These expected population increases means the world will have more mouths to feed, more people to house and, in return, more demand for appliances. As a result, GE shares could double within the next 12 to 24 months.

Pool Of Competitors
Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR), another large appliance manufacturer could benefit from an increasing world population, too. It currently trades at 2.2x the current year's estimate of $2.82, which is good considering that the company is expected to grow 12% per annum in the next five years.

Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG), manufacturer of household items like coffee makers and televisions, also expects demographic trends to have a long-term bullish effect. To be clear, the company is expected to earn just 59 cents per share in 2009, which isn't all that impressive given that the stock trades at $16.83. However, in 2010, the company is expected to earn $1.21 per share.

Bottom Line
The market may not be 100% healthy, but the aforementioned appliance companies give investors something to think about.

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