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Whirlpool Earnings Drop in Second Quarter

Lower U.S. demand, inflation take a toll on results.

Increased revenue in the second quarter was not enough to offset inflationary pressures and lower U.S. demand for Whirlpool products in the second quarter, the Benton Harbor, Mich., home appliance manufacturer reported today. Whirlpool Corp. announced that second-quarter earnings from continuing operations were $117 million, compared with $161 million in the same quarter one year ago. Earnings per diluted share dropped from $2 to $1.53. Revenue, on the other hand, grew by 5%, reaching $5.1 billion for the quarter compared with $4.9 billion in the second quarter of 2007. The manufacturing said second-quarter operating results were hurt by higher material and oil-related costs. Unit demand in the U.S. also declined by about 8% compared with the prior year. Productivity initiatives and improved results in Latin America partially offset the lowered U.S. results, Whirlpool said. Looking ahead, Chairman and CEO Jeff M. Fettig said, "We continue to execute previously announced cost-based price increases and cost-reduction actions related to our global operating platform initiatives. These actions, coupled with other productivity initiatives and bringing innovative new products to the marketplace, are critical to our ability to offset the record commodity and oil-related costs and lower industry demand." Whirlpool said it continues to expect earnings per diluted share from continuing operations to be in the range of $7 to $7.50 for the full year.

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