Whirlpool cuts profit guidance over European integration challenges

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Breaking up is hard to do. So, it seems, is getting together.

Whirlpool cut its full-year earnings outlook on Monday, placing the primary blame with “temporary integration challenges” in the European, Middle Eastern and Africa market following its 2014 purchase of Italian appliance maker Indesit.

The US-based manufacturer of large appliances like washing machines and refrigerators said that it now expects full-year earnings per share to come in at $12.65-$13.40, versus its previous estimate of $13.25-$14.25, due in part to the integration issues. Whirlpool said it has been experiencing “peak complexity” in the EMEA region related to the Indesit integration, which it said led to a “temporary disruption” in its supply-chain network and product availability.

“As we continue to execute our plans and work through the elevated complexity of our European integration, we remain confident in our ability to deliver both $1 billion of free cash flow and record earnings per share in 2017,” chief operating officer Marc Bitzer said in a statement.

Nevertheless, it said it expects performance in the current quarter to improve, and that improvement to extend into the back half of 2017.

Whirlpool’s earnings for the three-month period ending in March fell largely short of Wall Street’s expectations, with net income coming in at $153m for the quarter, translating to $2.01 per diluted share. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected net income of $163.2m and earnings per share of $2.11.

Revenue came in at $4.78bn for the quarter, in line with analysts’ estimates and a slight improvement over the $4.6bn reported in the year-ago period.

Whirlpool shares, which are down 6 per cent over the past 12 months, were down 0.74 per cent in after-hours trading.

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