UPDATE 2-Whirlpool profits surge as sales rebound; company raises outlook
CHICAGO, July 19 (Reuters) - Whirlpool Corp posted a stronger-than-expected jump in quarterly profit on Friday and raised its full-year outlook, citing sales gains in every market it operates, including Europe and North America.
The stronger-than-expected results suggested that U.S. and euro zone consumer confidence may have turned the corner after being battered by debt crises and austerity measures in Europe and the weak economic recovery and high unemployment in the United States. Investors are searching for such signs of growth as China's economy continues to slow.
Whirlpool, the world's largest appliance maker reported a second-quarter profit of $198 million, or $2.44 a share, up from $113 million, or $ 1.43 share, during the same period last year.
Sales at the maker of Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid appliances rose 5.3 percent to $4.74 billion.
According to Reuters data, the mean of analysts' forecasts was for net income of $189 million and revenue of $4.66 billion.
The gains were led by big unit sales increases in Europe and Latin America, where revenue rose nearly 6 percent, and the United States, where revenue rose 5.1 percent.
Whirlpool's focus on margin improvement was reflected in the operating profit numbers from Europe and Latin America, which jumped 77 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
The Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company said it was increasing its full-year diluted earnings forecast to a range of $10.05 to $10.55 a share, up from a previous forecast of $9.80 to $10.30 a share.
On an adjusted basis Whirlpool earned $2.37 per share.