BENTON HARBOR, Michigan (
(WHR - Get Report)
significantly reduced its outlook for 2011 earnings and said it would cut 5,000 jobs to trim costs and expand its operating margins.
"We are taking necessary actions to address a much more challenging global economic environment," said Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and CEO, in a statement Friday. "We believe our cost and capacity reduction initiatives, recently announced cost-based price increases and innovative product launches will enable us to expand operating margins and deliver long-term value to shareholders."
Citing weaker-than-expected industry demand, lower production levels and a weak economic environment, Whirlpool said it expects 2011 earnings of $4.75 to $5.25 a share, down from its previous estimate at the low-end of the range of $7.25 to $8.25 a share.
Whirlpool said the job cuts and other actions, such as reducing capacity by six million units and closing a refrigeration manufacturing plant in Fort Smith, Ark., will save $400 million annually by the end of 2013.
Whirlpool posted third-quarter adjusted earnings of $2.35 a share, up from a year earlier but below analysts' estimates of $2.75.
Sales in the quarter rose 2% to $4.62 billion but were below analysts' estimates of $4.76 billion.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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