Whirlpool Corp's quarterly profit and full year forecast surpassed Wall Street estimates, helped by sales in Brazil, Asia and North America, sending shares in the world's largest appliance maker up 14 percent.
The results boosted shares of the maker of Maytag and KitchenAid appliances to an all-time high and also propped up shares of rival Electrolux , which is due to report earnings on Tuesday.
Whirlpool benefited from its presence in fast-growing Latin American and Asian markets, fueled by the purchasing power of a growing middle class.
A sluggish economy and weak housing market had dented sales in North America, its largest market. But the company is profiting from new signs of a recovering U.S. economy, stronger demand for energy-efficient products and a federal stimulus program.
Caterpillar Inc , the world's largest maker of earth-moving equipment, also reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday and raised its full-year forecast.
Whirlpool sees full-year 2010 U.S. industry unit shipments up 3 percent to 5 percent, up from its prior outlook of a 2 percent to 4 percent rise.
While economic uncertainty remains, Whirlpool is well positioned to substantially grow earnings from prior-year levels, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Fettig said in a statement.
First-quarter net income rose to $164 million, or $2.13 a share, from $68 million, or 91 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding items, it earned $2.51 a share, beating the analysts' average estimate of $1.33, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For 2010, Whirlpool forecast earnings at $8 to $8.50 a share, up from its prior outlook of $6.50 to $7.00. Analysts had forecast earnings of $7.08 a share.
Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi said the outlook was realistic and applauded Whirlpool's cost-cutting efforts, adding they should give the company an edge over rivals even when commodity costs go up later this year.
Even with higher input costs, they still have visibility into a further ... reasonable strength in the topline and also more productivity coming up from their model, Sozzi said.
He has a buy rating on the stock, which he believes has more room to grow at current valuation levels.
Whirlpool shares were up more than 14 percent at $116.89 on Monday and touched a high of $118.44 earlier in the session.
The company has shut plants, cut jobs and moved some manufacturing to low cost-centers like Mexico. It has also started using common parts across its portfolio of dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines.
Whirlpool's sales rose about 20 percent to $4.27 billion, while analysts expected $3.79 billion. Sales in North America rose 7 percent to $2.3 billion, while unit shipments there rose 11 percent.
Sales rose 65 percent in Latin America and increased 60 percent in Asia. For the full year, the company now expects its shipments to rise about 10 percent in Brazil and 5 percent to 8 percent in Asia.
(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; Additional reporting by James B. Kelleher in Chicago, Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Derek Caney)