* Q1 EPS ex-items $2.51 vs Street's $1.33
* Q1 sales up 20 pct at $4.27 billion, beat Street view
* Raises FY shr view to $8.00 to $8.50 from $6.50 to $7.00
* Whirlpool shares up 7.6 percent
(Adds segment details, background)
NEW YORK, April 26 Whirlpool Corp's (WHR.N)
quarterly profit blew past Wall Street estimates on strong
sales in Brazil, Asia and North America, prompting the world's
largest appliance maker to raise its full-year outlook.
The maker of Maytag and KitchenAid appliances, whose shares
rose nearly 8 percent, has benefited from its presence in
fast-growing Latin American and Asian markets, fueled by the
purchasing power of a growing middle class.
While a sluggish economy and weak housing market had dented
sales in North America -- its largest market -- increasing
demand for energy-efficient products and a federal stimulus
program are now bringing shoppers back.
The strong results came just days after data showed new
orders for durable U.S. manufactured goods, excluding
transportation, posted their largest gain in more than two
years in March, while home sales hit an eight-month high,
renewing hopes the U.S. economy was on its road to recovery.
Whirlpool now sees full-year 2010 U.S. industry unit
shipments up 3 percent to 5 percent, up from its prior outlook
of a 2 percent to 4 percent rise.
"While economic uncertainty remains, Whirlpool is well
positioned to substantially grow earnings from prior-year
levels," Chief Executive Officer Jeff Fettig said in a
"Our innovation pipeline is strong and we continue to make
the appropriate investments in our global brand offerings to
drive growth," he added.
Whirlpool's first-quarter net income rose to $164 million,
or $2.13 a share, from $68 million, or 91 cents a share, a year
Excluding items, it earned $2.51 a share, beating the
analysts' average estimate of $1.33, according to Thomson
Sales rose about 20 percent to $4.27 billion, while
analysts expected $3.79 billion.
Sales in North America rose 7 percent to $2.3 billion,
while unit shipments there rose 11 percent.
Sales rose 65 percent in Latin America and increased 60
percent in Asia.
For the full year, the company now expects its shipments to
rise about 10 percent in Brazil and 5 percent to 8 percent in
Whirlpool forecast 2010 earnings at $8 to $8.50 a share, up
from its prior outlook of $6.50 to $7.00.
Shares of Whirlpool were up 7.6 percent at $110 in trading
before the market opened.
(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)