Maytag swings to second-quarter profit

/ Source: The Associated Press

Household appliance maker Maytag Corp., which is the target of a takeover battle, said Friday it swung to a second-quarter profit from a year-ago loss, but its results failed to meet Wall Street expectations as higher steel, resin and fuel costs offset improved sales growth.

The earnings report came a day after the Newton-based company rebuffed Whirlpool Corp.’s bid to acquire Maytag. Maytag said its board continues to recommend a competing offer but will still evaluate Whirlpool’s $1.37 billion cash-and-stock bid.

Maytag said net income totaled $3.5 million, or 4 cents per share, from a loss of $41.1 million, or 52 cents per share, a year ago. The latest quarter included charges of 3 cents per share, compared with 61 cents of items last year.

Total sales rose 6.7 percent to $1.23 billion from $1.15 billion last year.

Excluding charges, the company’s 7-cents-per-share profit missed analysts’ expectations for earnings of 10 cents per share, though sales came in above estimates of $1.15 billion, according to a Thomson Financial survey of analysts.

The company said sales were up year-over-year in all major categories of home appliances — refrigerators, laundry, cooking, dishwashers and floor care. Sales of commercial products declined versus a year ago, a result of continued weakness in the vending industry.

Maytag said all Hoover products experienced significant year-over-year growth, with market share gains in upright vacuums as the primary sales driver.

The company reaffirmed that its full-year earnings are expected to range between 45 cents to 55 cents per share, including about 10 cents in restructuring charges. Analysts on average are currently looking for profit of 54 cents per share.

In a statement on Thursday, Maytag said its board was uncertain if Whirlpool’s offer was better than a previous bid submitted by investment group Triton Acquisition Holding Co., which is led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC. Maytag said such a determination had to be made before the company could give Whirlpool financial information and start negotiations.