Whirlpool Sells Off Despite Earnings Growth

The company says full-year results should top estimates, but the shares are down more than 4%.
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Whirlpool's

(WHR) - Get Report

second-quarter earnings increased 49%, and the company said it should beat estimates for the full year, but investors were selling after the appliance maker released its results.

The company reported Thursday that it had earnings of $94 million, or $1.35 a share, for the second quarter, up from $63 million, or 91 cents a share, in the same period last year.

"This performance reflects the solid contributions from our global businesses and brands, including the introductions of innovative new products worldwide," Whirlpool's Chairman and CEO David R. Whitwam said in a prepared statement. "The results also demonstrate the positive impact from continuous improvements in productivity, and from actions we are taking to align the company's cost structure with current economic and industry conditions."

Whirlpool's sales for the quarter were $2.99 billion, up 9% from $2.74 billion reported for the second quarter of 2002. Earnings beat the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call of $1.31 a share.

Despite the news, investors sold the stock after analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston said that while Whirlpool's revenue gains were stronger than expected, operating margins were a little weak.

The company's shares were recently down $3, or 4.6%, to $62.95.

In the second quarter, Whirlpool booked a gain of $13.5 million, or 19 cents a share, related to a change in its retiree health-care plan, and charges of $11 million, or 16 cents a share, for the costs of a product recall.

For the full year, Whirlpool affirmed its earnings outlook of $5.90 to $6.10 a share. Analysts are looking for a profit of $5.53 a share.