Whirlpool (WHR) Beats Expectations

Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) reported adjusted net earnings of $2.82 per share in the second quarter of 2010 compared to 94 cents during the corresponding period of last year. EPS results beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.18 per share.

Revenues for the company also increased 9% to $4.5 billion. The adjusted operating profit was $298 million in comparison to $123 million a year ago.

Favorable performance by the company was a result of successful cost reduction and productivity initiatives, global unit volume growth and increased monetization of certain tax credits. The benefits obtained were partially checked by higher material and oil-related costs and lower product price/mix.

Performance by Region

Revenues from the North American region totaled $2.5 billion, up 6% from the previous year. The adjusted operating profit from this region totaled to $167 million, an increase of 40% increase over last year. A part of this improvement was attributed to a 7% increase in unit shipments in this region.

In the European region, Whirlpool earned revenues of $739 million. Though there was a 6% fall in revenue for the region, the region generated an operating profit of $20 million during the quarter, thereby recovering from an operating loss of $12 million in the last year. The improvement was attributable to successful steps taken towards raising productivity and reducing costs.

Revenues in the Latin American region rose 24% to $1 billion. Operating profit was $165 million, a rise of 158% over the same quarter in the last year. The cost reduction and productivity initiatives, increased monetization of certain tax credits and favorable price/mix also acted favorably to generate satisfactory results from Latin America. The company expects the full-year 2010 Brazilian appliance shipments to increase approximately by 10%.

Whirlpool Asia reported a 43% improvement in revenues to $263 million while operating profit stood at $ 15 million. Operating profit showed improvement in comparison to the same period last year. Whirlpool expects the full-year 2010 industry unit shipments in the region to go up by 5% to 8%.

Outlook

Whirlpool, a Zacks #3 Rank stock, revised its expectations both for earnings per share and free cash flow for the full year 2010. It expects to generate a cash flow between $550 million and $650 million, compared to its prior expectation of $500 million to $600 million. Consequently, the earnings per share are expected in the range of $9.00–$9.50, an improvement from its prior outlook of $8.00–$8.50.

During the second quarter, the U.S. industry unit shipment of major appliances increased 12%. In line with this, the company expects the full-year 2010 U.S. industry unit shipments to increase by 5%.

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