Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Whirlpool profit hits happy note
The maker of Maytag and KitchenAid appliances posted a quarterly profit that left analysts’ expectations in the dirt. Try $2.51 a share compared with Wall Street’s estimate for $1.33. People, when a company tops expectations to the tune of $1.18, that’s crazy.
The strong results, not surprisingly, prompted the world’s largest appliance maker to raise its full-year outlook as well as its forecast for 2010 U.S. industry shipments.
The company had been hurt by the sluggish economy and weak housing market in North America — its largest market — but increasing demand for energy-efficient products and a federal stimulus program are luring shoppers back.
On the other hand, Alberto Culver, which makes TRESemme, Albert VO5 and other shampoos and personal-care products, reported a smaller-than-expected profit, hurt by a plant closure and a switch to new software in the United States that has created customer service problems.
Pessimists remain as a Harris Poll showed many Americans remain gloomy about the economy.
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