Whirlpool Strains to Meet Appliance Demand

Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Whirlpool Corp. WHR -1.55% said supply-chain disruptions are preventing it from making all the kitchen mixers, refrigerators and washing machines that Americans are ordering as they wait out the coronavirus pandemic at home.

The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company said Wednesday that revenue in North America fell 1.6% due to coronavirus-related supply constraints in its third quarter. Backlogs for its products remain higher than usual, the company said.

Whirlpool said it expects revenue, excluding currency fluctuations and a unit sale, to fall by 1% or less for 2020 as a whole. Three months ago, the company expected a decline of up to 12%, reflecting lower consumer spending at the outset of the pandemic.

“From the outset of this global crisis, we have taken decisive actions to weather the uncertainty and win in the eventual economic recovery,” Chief Executive Marc Bitzer said in a statement.

Whirlpool said earlier this year that it would cut costs in response to the pandemic. The company said those measures and lower raw-material prices had reduced costs by $350 million so far this year.

Whirlpool’s shares rose 5% in aftermarket trading. Shares have risen by more than 30% this year through Wednesday’s close.

In all, revenue rose 3.9% to $5.29 billion in its latest quarter. The company posted a net income of $397 million, up from $358 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

For the full year, Whirlpool projected per-share earnings between $14.90 and $15.40. In January, the company’s outlook was at $14.80 to $15.80.

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