Acquisition Costs Hit Whirlpoool Profits

BENTON HARBOR — Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR), the world’s largest appliance maker, Wednesday reported net income of $81 million or $1.02 a share in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from $181 million or $2.26 a share in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The Benton Harbor-based company said the results reflect costs of $1.71 a share associated with two recent acquisition.

The company also released an adjusted figure of “ongoing business earnings” of $3.52 a share, a record, up from $2.97 a share in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Net sales in the quarter were a record $6 billion, up from $5.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Excluding the impact of both foreign currency and Brazilian tax credits, sales increased approximately 22 percent. During the fourth-quarter, the acquisitions contributed approximately $1 billion of net sales.

“We delivered another record year of earnings while building an exceptional platform for profitable growth and margin expansion for 2015 and beyond,” said Jeff M. Fettig,  Whirlpool chairman and CEO. “Our integration activities remain on track to drive synergies and we will continue investing in our leading brands and the next generation of consumer relevant products.”

For the full year, net income was $650 million or $8.17 a share, down frmo $827 million or $10.24 a share a year earlier. Revenue was $19.87 billion, up from $18.77 billion a year earlier.

The company reported 2014 cash flow of $854 million, up from $690 million in 2013.

The company reaffirmed its 2015 earnings guidance of $10.75 or $11.75 a share. Cash flow is predicted at $700 million to $800 million, restructuring cash outlays of up to $250 million, capital spending of $800 million to $850 million and U.S. pension contributions of approximately $80 million.

Whirlpool North America reported fourth-quarter net sales of $2.8 billion compared to $2.7 billion in the same prior-year period, an increase of over 4 percent. The region reported a fourth-quarter operating profit of $255 million, or 9 percent of sales, compared to $301 million, or 11 percent of sales, in the same prior-year period.

Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa reported fourth-quarter net sales of $1.7 billion, up from $800 million in the same prior-year period. Over $800 million of this revenue growth was provided by the acquisition of Indesit Company S.p.A., an Italian appliance maker.

Whirlpool Latin America reported fourth-quarter net sales of $1.3 billion, compared to $1.4 billion in the same prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency and Brazilian tax credits, sales increased over 1 percent. The region reported fourth-quarter GAAP operating profit of $147 million, compared to $159 million in the same prior-year period.

Whirlpool Asia reported fourth-quarter net sales of $282 million compared to $177 million in the same prior-year period. Over $160 million of this revenue growth was provided by the acquisition in China. The region reported a fourth-quarter GAAP operating loss of $22 million, compared to an operating profit of $10 million in the same prior-year period.

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