Whirlpool: net earnings at $160 million in the first quarter 2014

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Whirlpool Corporation announced first-quarter GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) net earnings of $160 million, or $2.02 per diluted share, compared to $252 million, or $3.12 per diluted share, reported for the same prior-year period. Prior-year GAAP net earnings included $1.04 per diluted share of benefits from U.S. energy tax credits. Net sales in the quarter were $4.4 billion compared to $4.2 billion during the same prior-year period. Excluding the impact of both foreign currency and Brazilian (BEFIEX) tax credits, sales increased approximately 6 percent. “We are very pleased with the progress we made in the first-quarter driving revenue growth, expanding margins and investing in our business”, said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer of Whirlpool Corporation. “We remain committed to delivering our operating profit margin, earnings per share and free cash flow guidance for the year”. First-quarter GAAP operating profit totalled $281 million, compared to $254 million in the same prior-year period. “We remain confident in our ability to deliver a record year of performance in 2014 and in our long-term growth strategy”, said Fettig.

First-quarter regional review

Whirlpool North America
Whirlpool North America reported first-quarter net sales of $2.3 billion compared to $2.2 billion in the same prior-year period, an increase of over 4 percent. The region reported first-quarter operating profit of $228 million, 9.8 percent of sales, compared to $218 million, 9.7 percent of sales, in the same prior-year period. Higher sales and ongoing cost productivity offset higher material costs and increased investments in marketing, technology and products. The company expects full-year 2014 industry unit shipments to increase in the range of 5 to 7 percent.

Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa
Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa reported first-quarter net sales of $720 million compared to $668 million in the same prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, sales increased approximately 4 percent. The region reported first-quarter operating profit of $7 million. The company expects full-year 2014 industry unit shipments to be flat to up 2 percent.

Whirlpool Latin America
Whirlpool Latin America reported first-quarter net sales of $1.2 billion, compared to $1.2 billion in the same prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency and BEFIEX tax credits, sales increased approximately 11 percent. The region reported first-quarter operating profit of $123 million, compared to $130 million in the same prior-year period. The company expects full-year 2014 industry unit shipments to be flat.

Whirlpool Asia
Whirlpool Asia reported first-quarter net sales of $166 million compared to $187 million in the same prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, sales decreased approximately 4 percent. The region reported first-quarter operating profit of $5 million, 2.9 percent of sales, compared to $3 million, 1.7 percent of sales, in the same prior-year period. Improved product price and mix and ongoing cost productivity offset lower unit volumes, higher material costs and foreign currency. The company expects full-year 2014 industry unit shipments to be flat to up 3 percent.