* Quarterly profit per share tops analyst estimates
* Sales fall, miss expectations
* Maintains full-year profit, shipment outlook
By Dhanya Skariachan
April 24 Whirlpool Corp reported
higher-than-expected quarterly profit and stood by its earnings
outlook for 2013 on Wednesday as price increases and cost cuts
helped the world's largest appliance maker counter lackluster
Like many U.S. companies, Whirlpool, the maker of Maytag and
KitchenAid appliances has kept a lid on costs to offset weak
demand, especially in Europe, which is reeling from an economic
Sales in the first quarter fell 2.3 percent to $4.25
billion, missing the analysts' average estimate of $4.39
billion. Sales were essentially flat in North America, its
largest market, and fell in Asia and Europe, Middle East and
The company maintained its shipment outlook for all markets.
It expects 2013 industry unit shipments to stay flat in Europe,
Middle East and Africa. In the United States, shipments are
expected to rise 2 percent to 3 percent, and in Latin America
and Asia, gain 3 percent to 5 percent.
Whirlpool has shut some manufacturing facilities in North
America, moved production to lower-cost countries such as Mexico
and used common parts across its lineup of dishwashers,
refrigerators and washing machines.
In the first quarter, net income rose to $252 million, or
$3.12 a share, from $92 million, or $1.17 a share, a year
earlier. Excluding special items, it earned $1.97 a share,
beating the analysts' average estimate of $1.93, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Whirlpool forecast full-year earnings of $9.25 to $9.75 a
share, excluding restructuring charges, Brazilian tax credits
and U.S. energy tax credits. Analysts expected $9.64.
Swedish rival Electrolux is due to report
quarterly results on Thursday.
Whirlpool shares, up about 84 percent in the past year, were
unchanged on Wednesday morning.