Whirlpool sees Q4 income growth

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Whirlpool Corporation announced fourth-quarter net earnings of $171 million, or $2.19 per diluted share, compared with $95 million, or $1.24 per diluted share reported during the same period last year.  Fourth-quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share totaled $2.11 compared with $1.67 in the prior year.  Sales of $5 billion increased 4% from the fourth quarter of 2009.

Fourth-quarter operating profit totaled $202 million compared with $199 million in the prior year.  

Full-year 2010 net earnings were $7.97 per diluted share compared with $4.34 per diluted share reported for 2009. Full-year 2010 adjusted diluted earnings per share totaled $9.65, compared to $5.01 in the prior year.  The company reported annual net sales of $18.4 billion, an increase of 7% from the prior year.  Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, sales increased approximately 5% from the prior year.  

"Delivering consumer-relevant innovations, managing costs and executing in the marketplace drove our improved performance in 2010," said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer of Whirlpool Corporation.  "We improved our operating margins and strengthened our financial position for the year – all indicators that our brand-value creation strategy is working.  

"As we enter 2011, we remain focused on delivering higher margin innovations, realizing significant cost productivity, and achieving profitable growth driven by some recovery in demand in the developed economies and by continued strong growth in many emerging markets.  In 2011, we expect to expand our operating margins despite significant global inflation and generate good levels of free cash flow and further strengthen our financial position."