The home appliance multinational beat on earnings, bringing in $4.75 a share vs. $4.10 in the same prior-year period, but missed on revenue, posting $5.66 billion, flat with the same prior-year period. Wall Street was expecting adjusted EPS of $4.23 on revenue of $5.76 billion. Excluding the impact of currency, sales increased 2.5%.
The company also issued weak full-year earnings guidance. The company expects to deliver 2019 earnings per share of $12.75 to $13.75 on a GAAP basis and $14 to $15 a share on an ongoing basis.
The company said 2019 adjusted profit and revenue are likely to miss analysts' expectations as favorable product price, restructuring benefits and reduced share count are offset by a higher tax rate, costs and a strong dollar.
"Sustained focus on our successful execution of price increases and disciplined working capital reduction, coupled with a favorable tax rate, allowed us to deliver very strong fourth-quarter earnings and cash which exceeded our most recent guidance," Marc Bitzer, Whirlpool chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Regionally, fourth-quarter revenue for North America grew approximately 5% despite soft industry demand and cost inflation. Europe, Middle East, and Africa delivered quarterly improvement in unit volumes and EBIT margin was in-line with expectations, the company said.
Cash provided by operating activities declined $35 million to $1.2 billion and free cash flow improved $146 million to $853 million, compared to the prior year.
After posting a significant loss at the end of 2017, Whirlpool stock has fallen more than 30% in the last year while the S&P 500 has declined 7.3% in the same period. In the last four quarters, Whirlpool has beaten consensus EPS estimates only twice.