Whirlpool Beats Estimates

Whirlpool ( WHR) posted an increase in second-quarter earnings Wednesday, easily topping analysts' consensus, as strong momentum in its U.S. and European businesses drove results.

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool earned $106 million, or $1.53 a share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared with $94 million, or $1.35 a share, in the year-earlier period. Total sales increased 9.2% to $3.26 billion; sales were up 8%, excluding foreign currency exchange benefits.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were calling for a profit of $1.49 a share on revenue of $3.16 billion.

Sales in North America increased 6.9% to $2.1 billion, while sales in Europe jumped 12.1% to $704 million, the company said.

Similar to second-quarter earnings reports from other consumer products companies, Whirlpool noted that an increase in material costs, material availability and "transportation constraints" have made the operating environment "challenging." In response, the company said it increased prices on its appliance products.

Nevertheless, sales and unit shipments were second-quarter records for the company.

Looking ahead, Whirlpool expects full-year U.S. industry shipments to increase 5% to 6% over last year.

Full-year earnings are seen at $6.20 to $6.35 a share, in line the Wall Street consensus for $6.26 a share, according to Thomson First Call. Whirlpool earned $5.89 a share in the prior year.

Shares of the company were unchanged in early morning trading at $63.93.

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