BENTON HARBOR, Mich.—Analysts will be watching for news on pricing and costs when appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. reports third-quarter earnings before the market opens Friday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The company, whose brands include Maytag, KitchenAid and its namesake, has faced soft demand since the recession started. It's also been squeezed by higher costs for some of its materials, such as steel and copper. Analysts will want to know how the company plans to deal with these challenges.
Whirlpool has said it would raise prices on customers and make products with less material. Like many companies, it is also hoping that rising demand in emerging markets in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere will fuel growth as U.S. customers rein in spending, although the company did say in the second-quarter that industry demand in one important emerging market, India, had slowed.
WHY IT MATTERS: Whirlpool's performance provides a window on the economy because it indicates whether consumers are comfortable spending on big-ticket items. Whirlpool can also give clues about the housing market. The Benton Harbor, Mich., company is also the biggest appliance maker, its actions can serve as a bellwether for the rest of the industry.
EXPECTATIONS: Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings, excluding special items, of $2.75 per share on revenue of $4.73 billion.
LAST YEAR: In the third quarter of last year, the company generated earnings, excluding special items, of $2.22 per share on revenue of $4.52 billion.