Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. met
Wall Street's lowered fourth-quarter earnings expectations and
affirmed its global restructuring plan will mean up to 6,000 jobs
cut in the coming year.
The company said Wednesday it expects to trim more than 2,000
jobs worldwide as part of the restructuring's first phase, with
more details to be announced within two weeks.
All told, the company shake-up which will pare 10 percent of
Whirlpool's 60,000-member work force will result in pre-tax
charges of $300 million to $350 million, with annualized savings of
$225 million to $250 million, the company said.
"This will be a year of challenge and opportunity," David R.
Whitwam, Whirlpool's chairman and chief executive, said in a
statement. "We believe that our strong brands, global platform,
innovative products and consumer focus combined with our
restructuring efforts and the associated lower cost structure
will produce a strong operational performance and solid financial
results in 2001."
Whirlpool said its fourth-quarter net earnings were $67 million,
or $1 per share, compared with $113 million, or $1.51 per share,
during the year-ago period.
Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial were expecting
99 cents per share, having lowered their estimate from $1.42 a
share after Whirlpool issued an earnings warning last month. At the
time, Whirlpool blamed intensified price competition, rising
material costs, and slowing or declining demand.
The company said sales during the three months ended Dec. 31
were $2.58 billion, down 4 percent from $2.69 billion in the
It added that it expects its first-quarter performance,
excluding charges, to be in line with fourth-quarter earnings of $1
per share. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had
been expecting $1.02 per share.
The North American appliance industry has been expected to be
down 7 percent to 8 percent in the fourth quarter versus the same
period in 1999, Whirlpool said last month. Earlier company
estimates forecast a fourth-quarter decline in industry shipments
of 2 percent to 3 percent.
Whirlpool has said its restructuring involves a reduction and
reconfiguration of global operations, including the closure of some
For the year, Whirlpool earned $367 million, or $5.20 per share,
on sales of $10.33 billion. In the previous year, the company
earned $347 million, or $4.56 per share, on sales of $10.51
Whirlpool is the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of
major home appliances. It sells products under 11 brand names in
more than 170 countries. The Benton Harbor-based company has major
operations in seven states Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan,
Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee and 12 countries,
including Canada and Mexico.
Whirlpool's earnings were released before the markets opened
Wednesday. In trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange,
shares of Whirlpool rose 43.8 cents to $49.44.