Reuters reports that Whirlpool has missed Wall Street's expectations for quarterly earnings and sales, hurt by weak demand in Europe and a stronger US dollar.
Whirlpool said that its second-quarter sales had fallen 4.6% to $4.51 billion, missing the analysts' average estimate of $4.63 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Its shares fell 1.9% to $66 in light premarket trading.
Home appliance manufacturers have struggled with higher raw materials costs and tepid demand in developed markets, especially in Europe, which is reeling from an economic crisis. European shoppers have cut back spending on discretionary items such as refrigerators and washing machines.
Whirlpool's Europe, Middle East and Africa unit reported second-quarter sales of $692 million, down from $841 million a year earlier. Excluding currency translations, sales fell about 7%, as did unit shipments for the region.
Weak consumer demand across the Eurozone forced Whirlpool to cut back production across the region, it said. It continues to see bleak prospects in Europe and expects shipments to Europe, the Middle East and Africa to fall 2% to 5%.
Like many U.S. companies that sell outside their home territory, Whirlpool was hurt by a stronger dollar that brings down the value of its exported goods.
Some days ago Whirlpool's long time rival Electrolux reported second-quarter earnings that beat forecasts as strength in emerging markets offset weak demand in mature ones, especially Europe.
Based on the current economic outlook, the company expects U.S. unit shipments this year to be flat to down 2%.
The Latin American market looks more promising for the company, with unit shipments expected to rise 5% to 7% there. Whirlpool expects shipments to Asia to be flat to up 2%.
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