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We supplement the reporting of our financial information determined under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) with certain non-GAAP financial measures, some of which we refer to as "ongoing business" measures, including ongoing business operating profit, ongoing business operating margin, ongoing business earnings (loss) before income taxes, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), EBIT margin, ongoing business EBIT, ongoing business EBIT margin, ongoing business earnings per diluted share, ongoing business segment operating profit, ongoing business segment operating margin, net sales excluding foreign currency and BEFIEX, and free cash flow. Ongoing business measures exclude items that may not be indicative of, or are unrelated to, results from our ongoing business operations and provide a better baseline for analyzing trends in our underlying businesses. Net sales excluding foreign currency and BEFIEX is calculated by translating the current period net sales excluding BEFIEX, in functional currency, to U.S. dollars using the prior-year period's exchange rate compared to the prior-year period net sales excluding BEFIEX. Management believes that net sales excluding foreign currency and BEFIEX provides stockholders with a clearer basis to assess our results over time. Management believes that free cash flow provides investors and stockholders with a relevant measure of liquidity and a useful basis for assessing the company's ability to fund its activities and obligations. We believe that these non-GAAP measures provide meaningful information to assist investors and stockholders in understanding our financial results and assessing our prospects for future performance. Because non-GAAP financial measures are not standardized, it may not be possible to compare these financial measures with other companies' non-GAAP financial measures having the same or similar names. These ongoing business financial measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for reported operating profit, earnings (loss) before income taxes, net earnings per diluted share available to Whirlpool, reported operating profit by segment, net sales, and cash provided by (used in) operating activities, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP financial measures reflect an additional way of viewing aspects of our operations that, when viewed with our GAAP results and the following reconciliations to corresponding GAAP financial measures, provide a more complete understanding of our business. We strongly encourage investors and stockholders to review our financial statements and publicly-filed reports in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure.
Disclaimer: Mean earnings estimates are calculated by First Call based on their earnings projections made by the analysts who cover Whirlpool Corporation. Please note that any opinions, estimates or forecasts regarding Whirlpool Corporation's performance made by these analysts (and therefore the average estimate numbers) are theirs and do not represent opinions, forecasts or predictions of Whirlpool Corporation or its management. Whirlpool Corporation does not by its reference above or distribution imply its endorsement of or concurrence with such information, conclusions or recommendations.