Whirlpool Posts Lower Than Expected 1Q Profit

Whirlpool on Tuesday posted a lower than expected first-quarter net profit but kept its previous 2016 outlook as it said cost and capacity reductions were offset by soft demand in emerging markets and unfavorable currency exchange rates.

The world's largest maker of home appliances reported net earnings of $150 million, or $1.92 per share, down from $191 million, or $2.38 per share, a year earlier.

Whirlpool said first quarter ongoing business earnings rose to $2.63 per share from $2.14 in the same period last year. Analysts had expected $2.68.

Net sales fell to $4.6 billion from $4.8 billion a year earlier

Sales in North America, Whirlpool's biggest market, rose about 4 percent to $2.4 billion. Meanwhile, weak demand in Brazil and unfavorable currency exchange rates contributed to sales falling nearly 29 percent to $700 million in Latin America.

The stronger U.S. dollar also dragged on sales in Asia where Whirlpool posted $371 million in revenue compared with $378 million a year ago. But excluding the unfavorable currency exchange the company said sales rose 3 percent.

In the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa region sales slipped to $1.2 billion, compared with $1.3 billion a year ago.

(Reporting by Meredith Davis; Editing by W Simon)