As with most companies with unfortunate exposure to residential housing, appliance manufacturer Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) is experiencing a down cycle in its domestic business. But a recent acquisition of an archrival is helping the company cut costs, and international trends are coming in static-free.

This morning, Whirlpool reported anemic overall second-quarter sales growth of 3%; North American sales, which accounted for just more than 60% of total sales, fell 6%. This proved almost enough to offset double-digit top-line growth in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, as the company benefits from a weak dollar and an array of new products under the Whirlpool, Maytag, Jenn-Air, and KitchenAid appliance brand names.

Bottom-line growth wasn't a problem; Whirlpool is busy cutting hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of costs from last March's acquisition of archrival Maytag. $101 million in stock buybacks also helped quarterly diluted earnings grow 60%.

Management sees total U.S. shipments dropping by a couple of percentage points, even though Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is stocking Maytag models again. However, subprime woes are hurting new-home sales, translating into fewer Pulte (NYSE:PHM), D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI), and Centex (NYSE:CTX) houses that need appliances.

Whirlpool continues to expect full-year diluted earnings of $8 to $8.50. That creates a reasonable forward P/E of 13-14, but much higher than a couple of months ago, when the stock traded closer to $80. There could be further upside if management can cut more costs from the merger, but it's also contending with higher raw-material costs from rising oil prices. There's definitely endurance in Whirlpool's spin cycle, even if the bulk of the benefit may have already sloshed over to existing shareholders.

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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann has no financial interest in any company mentioned. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.