Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Whirlpool profit hits happy note


whirlpool1Check out the blowout earnings by Whirlpool.

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.

Not to be outdone, cigarette maker Lorillard posted a stronger-than-expected profit, helped by higher volumes and market share gains as U.S. smokers chose less expensive brands.

Check Out Line: Staying home hits sales both ways


Check out the impact of staying at home. 
kellogg-cerealDining in and watching movies from the comfort of your couch may help sales trends for food makers, but it hurts some other companies in the consumer space.

Kellogg on Thursday posted a higher quarterly profit as consumers ate more meals at home.
TRESemme, Nexxus and Alberto VO5 maker Alberto Culver felt the opposite impact in its results earlier this week, as sales missed analysts’ expectations.

Check Out Line: Several companies ring up strong profits


shack1Check out the better-than-expected profits at Alberto Culver, Lorillard and RadioShack.

Alberto Culver, the maker of VO5 shampoo and Mrs. Dash seasoning, said its third-quarter profit, excluding one-time items was 30 cents a share, a penny above what analysts had expected, thanks to strong demand for its TRESemme shampoo.