Whirlpool will need some help from the housing market to put better numbers on the board.
Whirlpool Corporation's (WHR) portfolio of home appliances runs the gambit of consumer technology, from washers and dryers to refrigerators and a variety of other kitchen devices. Yahoo Finance Executive Editor Brian Sozzi is joined by Whirlpool CEO Marc Bitzer on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to discuss the appliance maker's positioning around inflation and the US housing market squeeze. "This is a highly competitive industry where we're the last American large-appliance company," Bitzer says, adding that: "North American business, in turn, is strongly driven by — we know — housing and by product introductions... Housing is a big factor, in particular existing home sales." Referencing US existing home sales and mortgage rates, Bitzer believes it will take "more than one interest rate reduction" by the Federal Reserve to see wider relief across the housing sector and consumers. "Inflation was a two or three-year massive problem. Overall it added almost $2.5 billion to our cost base... last year we were able to get $800 million out of the way... we're still operating slightly higher than before," Bitzer says on inflationary pressures affecting Whirlpool. "We're now tackling where we can, logistic costs, product costs. We're also questioning and addressing our overall infrastructure cost. We have simplified business going forward and as such, we probably don't need the kind of more or less complicated structure which we had before. We're addressing the cost at multiple levels. Frankly... we're not counting on big deflation, just a moderation is already fine." For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live. Editor's note: This article was written by Luke Carberry Mogan.
Whirlpool Corp aims to expand its North America appliance business margins over the next three years, the company said on Tuesday, betting on a rebound in U.S. home sales after a tough period of lower demand due to high mortgage rates. The Michigan-based company expects North America to make up about 30% of its overall revenue by 2026, it said in a presentation ahead of its investor meet. Whirlpool's profit fell for a sixth straight quarter in the three months ended December as it faced rising competition and price pressures.