Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool makes appliances across all major categories, including fabric care, cooking, refrigeration, dishwashers, countertop appliances, garage organization and water filtration. Courtesy Whirlpool
Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) in Benton Harbor has announced first quarter net earnings of $252 million, or $3.12 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $92 million, or $1.17 per diluted share in the first quarter last year.
First-quarter earnings include $1.04 per share of benefits from U.S. energy tax credits.
Sales in the quarter were $4.2 billion compared to $4.3 billion in the same period last year. Excluding the impact of both foreign currency and Brazilian tax credits, sales were flat compared to the prior year.
“The first-quarter results were in line with our expectations and continue to reflect our actions to expand margins, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year operating margin improvement,” said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer of Whirlpool. “We expect to see moderately higher revenue growth, due to continued strength in U.S. housing and improving demand trends internationally, and we are on track to deliver our operating profit margin, earnings and free cash flow guidance for the year.”
First-quarter operating profit was $254 million, compared to $204 million in the prior year. On an adjusted basis, operating profit totaled $280 million, 6.6 percent of sales, compared with $231 million, or 5.3 percent of sales, in the prior year. Continued positive product price and mix, and the benefit of cost and capacity-reduction initiatives helped results during the quarter.
Whirlpool continues to expect full-year diluted earnings per share of $9.80 to $10.30.
Whirlpool North America had first-quarter sales of $2.2 billion, which was basically flat compared to the previous year. Operating profit was $218 million, or 9.7 percent of sales, compared to $151 million in the prior year.
Whirlpool Latin America reported first-quarter sales of $1.2 billion compared to $1.3 billion in the prior year. Excluding currency translation and Brazilian tax credits, sales increased 2 percent. Operating profit was $130 million, compared to $121 million in the prior year.
Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa had first-quarter sales of $668 million compared to $687 million in the prior year, with an operating loss of $8 million compared to a $4 million operating profit in the prior year. The decline was driven by the continued weak environment across the euro zone.
Whirlpool Asia reported first-quarter sales of $187 million compared to $202 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of currency, sales decreased 4 percent and operating profit of $3 million was down compared to $9 million in the prior year.