Whirlpool shares tank as tariffs hit profits

By RetailFOXBusiness

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Home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool’s stock plummeted in trading Tuesday, one day after the company cut its full-year profit outlook, owing in part to the rising costs of steel and aluminum after tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump.

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“Global steel cost has risen substantially, and, in particularly in the U.S., they have reached unexplainable levels,” Whirlpool CEO Marc Bitzer said during an earnings call on Tuesday morning, adding that the company now expects to pay roughly $350 million more than expected on raw materials.

Whirlpool cut its expected profit per share 3% for fiscal 2018 to between $14.20 and $14.80 due to the higher-than-expected costs and weaker revenue growth.

The company reported quarterly revenue of $5.14 billion, a 3.9% decline year-over-year.

Shares fell roughly 14% in trading on Tuesday after the earnings report.

Whirlpool executives have emphatically supported Trump administration tariffs on raw materials such as steel and aluminum and imported appliances. The company said last January that it would hire 200 new full-time employees and called 50% tariffs on imported washing machines “a win for U.S. manufacturing jobs.”

Trump doubled down on his administration’s tariffs on Tuesday, writing on Twitter that they are “the greatest” and that they will help the U.S. secure better trade deals on the global stage.

Bitzer, the Whirlpool CEO, said the company is “encouraged” by the U.S. economy and expects sales to improve in the U.S.

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