Whirlpool Profit Soars - TheStreet

Whirlpool Profit Soars

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Whirlpool (WHR) - Get Report handily beat second-quarter earnings estimates as the appliance maker became the latest big U.S. multinational to overcome sluggish domestic sales with a strong overseas showing.

The Benton Harbor, Mich., company made $161 million, or $2 a share, from continuing operations for the quarter ended June 30, up from the year-ago $100 million, or $1.26 a share. Sales rose 3% from a year ago to $4.85 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a $1.83-a-share profit on sales of $4.91 billion.

"Our international businesses continue to execute extremely well and we are pleased with their financial performance through the first half of 2007," said CEO Jeff M. Fettig. "While weak industry demand and significantly higher material prices in the United States have unfavorably impacted our results for the past year, we are positive about the trends exiting the second quarter and believe demand will begin returning to moderate growth levels in the second half of this year."

Whirlpool said North American sales dropped 6% from a year ago in the latest quarter, while revenue rose 10% in Europe and 29% in Latin America. Big companies like

Coke

(KO) - Get Report

and

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

have been pointing to U.S. weakness as a major headwind this earnings season.

Whirlpool continues to expect full-year 2007 earnings per diluted share from continuing operations to be in the $8 to $8.50 range and anticipates generating between $600 million to $650 million in free cash flow, despite rising costs tied to the price of oil.