Whirlpool Corporation Chairman Marc Bitzer is strongly praising the strategy that he and his management team developed to cope with the changed business conditions of the pandemic. And he’s predicting continued positive performance in the months ahead. Bitzer and Whirlpool Chief Financial Office Jim Peters met with appliance industry writers and analysts for their Q2 Conference Call today, following up on the release of the company’s quarterly performance numbers late Wednesday.
Bitzer calls Whirlpool’s Q2 performance “truly outstanding” and “very impressive…in an ‘upside down environment.'” The company delivered EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) of 11.4 percent in Q2. Bitzer sees 10.5 percent EBIT for all of 2021, increasing “guidance” estimates by half a percent.
Taking questions from financial writers, Bitzer defended Whirlpool’s decision to raise appliance prices, despite the pandemic. He said their brands did not lose “floor space” in stores to their competitors, instead holding their own despite higher price tags. That translated into maintaining market share–a key measure in the consumer product world.
Bitzer sees a very gradual return to some kind of “normal” in the economy. “New Normal will look a lot different.” And he predicts it won’t come in the current quarter, perhaps not even in 2021. Addressing supply chain issues with product components, especially semi-conductors, Bitzer expressed confidence the situation will be solved, but it won’t happen quickly.
Whirlpool’s stock price took a small dip in early trading Thursday, following the Conference Call, down about three percent.