Whirlpool ( WHR) posted a second-quarter profit gain as sales rose 33% from a year ago.The Benton Harbor, Mich., appliance maker made $100 million, or $1.26 a share, from continuing operations in the quarter ended June 30, compared with $96 million, or $1.42 a share, a year earlier. Sales rose to $4.73 billion from $3.56 billion a year earlier, driven by the recent Maytag acquisition. Excluding that deal, sales rose 5%. Whirlpool said it classified as discontinued operations its to be divested Hoover, Dixie Narco, Amana and Jade businesses. We are pleased with our second quarter financial results, as well as the rapid progress made in integrating the Maytag business," said CEO Jeff M. Fettig. "All of our regional businesses delivered higher unit volume, sales and operating profit performance during the quarter. I am particularly pleased with the trade and consumer response to our new product innovations, which have been exceptional. We expect material and oil-related cost increases to continue to accelerate during the second-half of 2006. Accordingly, the company is implementing cost-based price adjustments, productivity initiatives and cost controls to offset the heightened cost environment. Our Maytag integration activities are progressing at an efficient and disciplined pace and remain on-track with previous expectations." Whirlpool said it expects to post earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $6 to $6.25 and free cash flow to be in the $200-to-$300 million range for 2006. The company also continues to expect 2007 full-year earnings per diluted share to be approximately $9 a share. Analysts were looking for $6.09 this year and $8.97 next.