Maytag

(MYG)

said third-quarter earnings will be below the consensus estimate due to slow major appliances sales and a delayed launch of a new washing machine.

The Newton, Iowa-based company now expects EPS of 65 cents to 70 cents, before a 7-cent gain from the sale of a distribution center. Previously, the company had expected to earn 80 cents a share. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 79 cents a share on average. The expected results will be 35% to 45% higher than the comparable quarter last year, the company noted.

Maytag said it will reduce production of washers, dryers and refrigerators to rebalance inventory. Additionally, the launch of Maytag's new line of Maytag Atlantis washers was delayed to later this year because of "issues surrounding a purchased component part."

Maytag will announce its third-quarter results and issue fourth-quarter and 2003 guidance on Oct. 14.

Shares of the company closed at $24.32 Monday on the

New York Stock Exchange

.