BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Whirlpool Corp. has reported that its profits fell 28% in the first quarter of 2009 due to softening consumer demand and a stronger dollar, but the results were still higher than analysts’ expectations.
The company’s earnings fell to $68 million, or 91 cents per share, down from $94 million, or $1.22 per share, from the same time last year. Sales dropped 23% to $3.57 billion, because its products were more expensive overseas, Whirlpool explains.
Analysts predicted a loss of 18 cents per share on sales of $3.95 billion, but cutting back on a post-retirement benefit plan added $97 million, or about 84 cents a share, to earnings. The company also cut selling, general and administrative expenses by $113 million, or 26%.
Whirlpool maintained its outlook for a 2009 profit of $3 to $4 per share, while analysts predict full-year earnings of $3.02 per share.