BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) announced earnings from continuing operations decreased 7 percent to $163 million, or $2.15 per diluted share, compared to $175 million, or $2.20 per diluted share reported during the previous year's quarter. Revenue of $4.9 billion for the quarter increased 1 percent from the $4.8 billion reported in the third quarter of 2007.
Third-quarter earnings reflect lower global unit volumes, higher material and oil-related costs and lower asset sale gains compared to the third quarter of 2007. These items were partially offset by an income tax benefit, favorable price/mix and productivity initiatives during the quarter. The company's results included $10 million in asset sale gains compared with $41 million of asset sale gains and the sale of an investment in the previous year's quarter.
"We are in the midst of a rapidly changing and very challenging economic environment. We have seen a sharp drop in demand in North America and Europe during the third quarter, and we do not expect demand conditions to improve in the near term," said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation chairman and chief executive officer. "Our third-quarter results were negatively impacted by declining demand and record levels of cost inflation. These unfavorable factors were partially offset by improved price/mix and productivity.
"The global credit crisis has had a profound negative impact on what was already a weakening and very fragile global economy. Declining home values, rising unemployment and very low consumer confidence levels will likely prolong a negative demand environment at least through the middle of 2009.
"In anticipation of this environment, we have announced substantial cost and production capacity reductions to adjust our business cost structure to expected demand levels. We will reduce our global workforce by approximately 5,000 positions by the end of 2009. In addition to the four facility closures we have announced earlier this year, we are also closing our Jackson, Tennessee facility and transferring production into our Findlay, Ohio location."
The company outlined the following actions: A reduction in force of approximately 5,000 jobs, which is being implemented across the global organization. The reduction includes both jobs that have already been announced through plant closures along with new reductions taking place now and through the end of 2009:
According to Fettig, the actions are expected to produce savings of approximately $275 million on an annualized basis. "While decisions to eliminate jobs and close facilities are very difficult, they are necessary to create a cost-effective business structure. These changes will ensure that our company is proactively taking the necessary steps to adjust its cost structure and production capacity to lower expected demand levels."
Third-Quarter Regional Review
Whirlpool North America third-quarter sales of $2.7 billion declined 7 percent from the prior year. U.S. industry unit shipments of major appliances (T7)* declined approximately 11 percent.
Operating profit of $74 million declined from $132 million reported in the previous year. Significantly higher material and oil-related costs and lower industry demand were the primary factors affecting the company's third-quarter operating profit. These factors were partially offset by favorable price/mix and ongoing productivity initiatives.
Based on current economic conditions, the company expects full-year 2008 U.S. industry unit shipments to decline approximately 10 percent from 2007 levels compared with its previous expectation of a 6 percent to 7 percent decline.
Whirlpool Europe reported third-quarter sales of $1.1 billion, a 9 percent increase from the prior year. Excluding the effects of currency, sales were approximately equal to the previous year. Overall industry demand during the quarter declined approximately 4 percent from the prior year.
Operating profit decreased to $52 million from $84 million reported in the previous year. The region recorded an asset sale gain of $9 million in the third quarter compared with a $32 million gain in the previous year. In addition to the reduction in asset sale gains, European results were unfavorably impacted by higher material and oil-related costs, lower unit volumes and lower fixed cost absorption. These increased costs were substantially offset by favorable product price/mix during the quarter.
Based on current economic conditions in the European region, the company expects full-year 2008 industry unit shipments to decline 3 percent to 4 percent from 2007 levels compared with its previous expectation of a 2 percent to 3 percent decline.
Whirlpool Latin America net sales increased 22 percent to $1.0 billion. Sales results reflect continued strong demand for the company's innovative products in the region and favorable foreign currency translation. Excluding currency translation, sales for appliances and compressors increased approximately 11 percent.
Operating profit totaled $116 million in the third quarter compared with $103 million in the prior year. Increased appliance unit shipments, regional tax incentives, favorable price/mix and productivity were positive factors during the third quarter. These factors were mitigated by increased material and oil-related costs and the non-recurrence of a non-income based tax credit of $12 million.
Based on current economic conditions in Latin America, the company expects full-year 2008 shipments to rise 5 percent to 8 percent.
Whirlpool Asia reported third-quarter sales of $137 million, increasing 11 percent from the prior year. Excluding the impact of currency, sales increased approximately 16 percent predominantly due to higher unit volume. Operating profit during the quarter was breakeven. The year-over-year increase in operating profit resulted from higher volume and favorable trends in productivity and product price/mix. These favorable items were partially offset by higher material costs.
The company continues to expect full-year 2008 industry unit shipments to increase 5 percent to 10 percent from 2007 levels.
The additional actions the company is undertaking to reduce costs across its global operations will result in additional restructuring expenses. For the full-year 2008, the company now anticipates recording restructuring expenses of approximately $170 million compared with its previous estimate of $100 million.
"Though we are in a challenging and uncertain economic environment, Whirlpool remains very well positioned to overcome these challenges and further strengthen our global operations," said Fettig. "The actions we are taking reflect the strong operating disciplines that are required to succeed in any environment. We will rapidly make the necessary changes to adapt to this economic environment and will continue to invest in the right areas that are key to our future success."
For the full-year 2008, Whirlpool now expects earnings per diluted share from continuing operations to be in the $5.75 to $6.00 range compared with its previous estimate of $7.00 to $7.50 per share. Based upon its revised earnings expectations and industry outlook, the company expects to generate free cash flow of $0 to $50 million for the full year compared to its previous estimate of $500 to $550 million.**
Given the challenging economic conditions and its revised free cash flow outlook, the company has suspended its share repurchase program.
* T7 refers to the following household appliance categories: washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, ranges and compactors.
** A reconciliation of free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, to cash provided by continuing operations appears below under the heading "Cash Flow Reconciliation."
NEW INNOVATIONS The Whirlpool brand in North America launched:
Whirlpool Europe launched:
Whirlpool Latin America launched:
Whirlpool Asia launched:
AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Cash Flow Reconciliation
The table below reconciles actual 2007 and 2008 and projected 2008 cash provided by continuing operations determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United States to free cash flow, a non-GAAP measure. Management believes that free cash flow provides shareholders with a relevant measure of liquidity and a useful basis for assessing the company's ability to fund its activities and obligations. There are limitations to using non-GAAP financial measures, including the difficulty associated with comparing companies that use similarly named non-GAAP measures whose calculations may differ from the company's calculations. As defined by the company, free cash flow is cash provided by continuing operations after capital expenditures and proceeds from the sale of assets/businesses. The projections shown here are based upon many estimates and are inherently subject to change based on future decisions made by management and the board of directors of the company, and significant economic, competitive and other uncertainties and contingencies.
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion, 73,000 employees, and 69 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com.
Whirlpool Additional Information:
This document contains forward-looking statements that speak only as of this date. Whirlpool disclaims any obligation to update these statements. Forward-looking statements in this document may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding expected earnings per share, cash flow, productivity and material and oil-related prices. Many risks, contingencies and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from Whirlpool Corporation's forward-looking statements. Among these factors are: (1) intense competition in the home appliance industry reflecting the impact of both new and established global competitors, including Asian and European manufacturers; (2) Whirlpool's ability to continue its relationship with significant trade customers, including Sears Holding Corporation in North America (accounting for approximately 12% of Whirlpool's 2007 consolidated net sales of $19.4 billion) and the ability of these trade customers to maintain or increase market share; (3) changes in economic conditions, including the strength of the U.S. building industry and the level of interest rates; (4) the ability of Whirlpool to achieve its business plans, productivity improvements, cost control, leveraging of its global operating platform, and acceleration of the rate of innovation; (5) fluctuations in the cost of key materials (including steel, oil, plastic, resins, copper and aluminum) and components and the ability of Whirlpool to offset cost increases; (6) the ability of suppliers of critical parts, components and manufacturing equipment to deliver sufficient quantities to Whirlpool in a timely and cost-effective manner; (7) our ability to attract, develop and retain executives and other qualified employees; (8) health care cost trends and regulatory changes that could increase future funding obligations for pension and post retirement benefit plans; (9) the cost of compliance with environmental and health and safety regulations; (10) litigation including product liability and product defect claims; (11) the impact of labor relations; (12) Whirlpool's ability to obtain and protect intellectual property rights; (13) the ability of Whirlpool to manage foreign currency fluctuations; and (14) global, political and/or economic uncertainty and disruptions, especially in Whirlpool's significant geographic regions, including uncertainty and disruptions arising from natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Whirlpool Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K.