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Whirlpool reports 5% dip in profit

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Whirlpool Corp. said Tuesday its second-quarter earnings fell 5% but beat Wall Street expectations following the purchase of Maytag Corp.

The Benton Harbor-based appliance maker said net income for the second quarter ended June 30 dropped to $91 million, or $1.14 a share, compared with $96 million, or $1.42 a share, in the same period a year ago.

Excluding a one-time loss of $9 million for discontinued operations related to the company's plan to buy several businesses including Hoover, operating income for Whirlpool totaled $100 million, or $1.26 a share.

Whirlpool, the nation's largest maker of refrigerators, washing machines and ranges with such brand names as KitchenAid, Roper and Amana, said revenue for the three-month period rose 33% to $4.73 billion, compared with $3.56 billion in the same period last year.

A consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts projected that Whirlpool would report profits of $1.04 a share on revenue of $5 billion, a survey by Thomson Financial found.

Whirlpool stock rose 96 cents, or 1.2%, to close at $78.85 a share Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Whirlpool's second-quarter profits included the results from the company's purchase of Newton, Iowa-based Maytag for $2.5 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt completed March 31.

"We are pleased with our second-quarter financial results, as well as the rapid progress made in integrating the Maytag business," Whirlpool Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Fettig said in a statement. "All of our regional business delivered higher unit volume, sales and operating profit performance during the quarter."

But Fettig added that expected higher material and petroleum-related costs for the second half of the year likely will result in higher product costs.

"The company is implementing cost-based price adjustments, productivity initiatives and cost controls to offset the heightened cost environment."

From Detroit Free press

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