Home appliance company Whirlpool (WHR -0.04%) delivered some major positive surprises in its second-quarter earnings report yesterday, outdoing analyst expectations in several key metrics. According to Barron's, the manufacturer of washers, dryers, stoves, and refrigerators sold $400 million more than experts anticipated, with $3.6 billion in estimated net sales outpaced by $4.04 billion in actual profits. The company also delivered $2.15 adjusted earnings per share (EPS), more than double the consensus $0.96.
The earnings press release noted the COVID-19 pandemic reduced Whirlpool's sales and revenue, but the negative impact was "mitigated by significant and decisive cost actions." Additionally, late in June after the worst of the pandemic's effects abated, the company had approximately $2.5 billion in cash on hand, giving it good liquidity for continued operations.
Whirlpool's report breaks down net sales by region, revealing that North America was the area least affected by the COVID-19 slump. Net sales were down 12.5% year over year for the region, compared to drops of 19% in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; 37.1% in Asia; and 51.1% in Latin America. The company notes signs of recovery in June for several of the regions, including rising demand in North America and actual positive growth in net sales for the month in Europe.
The company's outlook also improved, with the expected overall drop in 2020 net sales coming in several percentage points lower than the company forecast earlier in the year. Chief Executive Officer Marc Bitzer said delivering "a solid Q2 performance despite the far reaching impact of COVID-19 on our business is the result of the decisive actions we took throughout the quarter and ultimately demonstrates the resilience of our business model."