Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Apr 23, 2019 • 08:00 am ET


Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Good morning and welcome to Whirlpool Corporation's First Quarter 2019 Earnings Release Call. Today's call is being recorded. For opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the call over to Senior Director of Investor Relations, Max Tunnicliff.

Max Tunnicliff

Thank you, and welcome to our first quarter 2019 conference call. Joining me today are Marc Bitzer, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Jim Peters, our Chief Financial Officer. Our remarks today track with the presentation available on the Investor section of our website at whirlpool.com.

Before we begin, I'll remind you that as we conduct this call we will be making forward-looking statements to assist you in understanding Whirlpool Corporation's future expectations. Our actual results could differ materially from these statements due to many factors discussed in our latest 10-K and other periodic reports. We want to remind you that today's presentation includes non-GAAP measures. We believe these measures are important indicators of our operations, as they exclude items that may not be indicative of, or are unrelated to, results from our ongoing business operations. We also think the adjusted measures will provide you a better baseline for analyzing trends in our ongoing business operations. Listeners are directed to the supplemental information package posted on the Investor Relations section of our website for the reconciliation of non-GAAP items to the most directly comparable GAAP measures.

At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Following our prepared remarks, the call will be open for analyst questions. As a reminder, we ask that participants ask no more than two questions.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Marc.

Marc Bitzer

Thanks and good morning, everyone. On Slide 3, we show our first quarter highlights. As you saw in our press release, we delivered another quarter with strong results, including a record first quarter ongoing earnings per share of $3.11. Although revenue growth was impacted by softer demand in certain countries, including the US, Canada, Mexico, China and several European countries, we delivered global EBIT margin expansion of 30 basis points driven by excellent price/mix progress and sustained fixed cost discipline. Additionally, our North America region delivered very impressive results with EBIT margin expansion of 90 basis points despite continued macro pressures. This performance gives us continued confidence in delivering our full year guidance, which remains unchanged in total, as raw material favorability is offset by lower industry demand expectations.

Turning to Slide 4, I will discuss our first quarter results in more detail. Excluding currency, we delivered global revenue growth of 1%, as very strong price mix more than offset unit volume declines. Ongoing EBIT margin was 6.3% for the quarter compared to 6% last year driven by very strong price/mix. Finally, our first quarter free cash flow reflects normal seasonality of cash usage and was unfavorably impacted by the timing of certain payments. Overall, we are very pleased with our first quarter results and believe we are well positioned to deliver on our full year commitment.

Turning to Slide 5, we