Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) revealed a stronger-than-expected adjusted profit for the third quarter on Wednesday, but the big appliance maker warned of turbulence ahead.

The maker of Maytag kitchen and laundry appliances said it earned $79 million, or $1.02 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $87 million, or $1.15 a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned $2.22 a share, handily beating forecasts from analysts for $1.75.

Sales eked out a gain, rising 0.5% to $4.52 billion. Wall Street had been expecting sales of $4.5 billion.

North American sales slid 3% to $2.4 billion, while European sales dropped 8% to $827 million. Offsetting those declines, sales in Latin America soared 13% to $1.11 billion.

“As expected, we faced a challenging environment during the quarter which resulted in a significant slowing in sales growth compared to the first half of the year," CEO Jeff Fettig said in a statement. “We continue to see a volatile and rapidly changing global economy, which we expect to continue in the near term. The actions we have put in place have allowed us to offset negative environmental factors and maintain our full-year adjusted earnings outlook."

Underscoring those sentiments, Whirlpool cut its 2010 industry shipment growth view to just 3%, down from 5% previously.

Whirlpool said it still sees 2010 EPS of $7.80 to $8.30. On a non-GAAP basis, it forecasted EPS of $9.56 to $10.06.

Whirlpool’s stock was unmoved in pre-market trading, though the stock has climbed more than 7% over the past month and nearly 5% on the year.