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Whirlpool Q3 Earnings Down

Harbor, Mich. – Whirlpool reported third-quarter net earnings of $79
million, lower than the $87 million posted for the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter ended on Sept. 30 were $4.5
billion, an increase of 0.5 percent from $4.5 billion in the
third quarter of 2009.

Third quarter operating profit totaled $234 million
compared with $189
million in the prior year. Results were favorably impacted by
cost reduction and productivity initiatives and increased monetization of
certain tax credits. These favorable factors were partially offset by higher
material costs and lower product price/mix. Third-quarter adjusted operating
profit totaled $234
million compared to $193 million in the prior year,
the company said.  

“As expected, we faced a challenging environment during the
quarter which resulted in a significant slowing in sales growth compared to the
first half of the year,” said Jeff M. Fettig,
chairman/CEO of Whirlpool Corporation.  “Our ongoing focus on cost
reductions, productivity and innovative new product launches continues to
enable us to adapt to changes in the macroeconomic environment.”

In North America third quarter sales were $2.4
billion, a 3 percent decrease from the prior year.  North
America unit shipments increased approximately 1 percent.  U.S. industry
unit shipments of major appliances decreased 3 percent during the third quarter,
Whirlpool noted.  

Third quarter 2010 adjusted operating profit for the North
America region totaled $114 million
compared to $147
million in the prior year.  Third-quarter results were
unfavorably impacted by lower product price/mix and higher material costs.
 These factors were partially offset by favorable cost reduction and
productivity initiatives.  

Based on the current economic outlook, the company now
expects full-year 2010 U.S. industry unit shipments to increase approximately 3
percent compared to the previous expectation of a 5 percent increase.

During a conference call, executives attributed higher North
American inventory levels to product transitions, weaker than expected demand,
and a traditional seasonal build-up in advance of the fourth quarter.

 Fettig noted that the
North American unit cut prices in two key product categories during the quarter
in response to “extremely aggressive” pricing by competitors and “a sharp
change in demand.”

Whirlpool North America president Marc Bitzer said the price
cuts, plus positive consumer response to several product launches, led to
“strong brand share growth” during the quarter. New product introductions

  • Whirlpool
    brand’s top-of-the-line front-load Duetlaundry pair, which uses as little as 11.5 gallons of water per

  • Whirlpoolbrand’sCabriohigh-efficiency
    top-load laundry pair, which uses 74 percent less water and 76 percent less
    energy per load compared to conventional pre-2004 top-load washers;

  • Maytagbrand’s Ice20 Easy
    Access four-door refrigerator, touted as the industry’s most energy efficient
    four-door refrigerator ;

  • KitchenAid
    brand’s large-capacity dual-fuel double oven range and dishwasher with
    retro-style recessed handle;

  • Amanabrand’s Tandemfront-load
    laundry pair, which uses 73 percent less water and 71 percent less energy
    compared to conventional pre-2004 top-load washers.

Bitzer added that Black Friday promotional activity will
mirror last Thanksgiving weekend, with the greatest participation by national
chains and more limited promotional activity by the independent dealer channel.