November 18, 2017

Archives for February 2007

Whirlpool: If a FOOL would buy the stock, are you a fool to buy the washer?

whirlpool motley fool

Whirlpool announced its quarterly financial results today and Ryan Fuhrmann over at the MotleyFool seems to think that Whirlpool might just be a stock to invest in these days.

Although the company is reporting growth on overseas markets like Brazil (12%) and India (5-10%), it anticipates shrinking in its core North American and European markets (down 2-3%). The retreating housing market and tightening economy limit the available market size, and the company depends on a small group of stores (Sears, Lowes, Home Depot and Best Buy) for most of its sales.

So why buy if the company is shrinking? Because the company expects to get more efficient and cut down its cost base. Management expects to wring out hundreds of millions in “significant efficiencies” over the next couple of years, culminating in $400 million in projected savings in 2008. Where will these efficiencies come from? Whirlpool is counting on cost-cutting from last year’s acquisition of arch-rival Maytag.

With the acquisition Whirlpool“>Whirlpool wiped out a major competitor and boosted its place as a dominant appliance supplier. Hopefully its efficiencies and cost cutting will come in to form of eliminating redundancies, and not in the form of dropping engineering and manufacturing standards.

Time, and customer feedback will tell.

Over at the FOOL Ryan writes:

Fortunately, Whirlpool“>Whirlpool has proven adept at introducing appealing new products and controls a number of well-respected brands, namely Whirlpool, Kenmore, and KitchenAid, as well as Maytag, Jenn-Air, and Amana (acquired from Maytag). Overall, I believe a seasoned operating model, reasonable valuation, cost-cutting opportunities, and international growth prospects outweigh concerns about slow domestic growth and near-term housing woes.

So buy the stock, but keep an eye on the forums to see if you should buy Whirlpool products.

Hoover Sucked Up By Chinese Conglomerate

Another great American brand bites the Dust. Hoover got Sucked up by Chinese conglomerate Techtronic Industries (TTI) of Hong Kong.

Whirlpool washed its hands of its floor care products today and dumped the Hoover brand along with all of its assets to TTI. TTI already controls the Dirt Devil brand and is well on its way to being the major floor care brand. As more American brands outsource all of their manufacturing to China, its a short step to selling the brand outright to the factory.

Here’s TTI’s announcement:

Will Combine Hoover with Dirt Devil Creating Largest Floor Care Business in North America

HONG KONG, Jan. 31 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. today announced that it will complete its acquisition of the Hoover floor care business from Whirlpool Corporation (“Whirlpool”) when the transaction closes on 31st January, 2007 (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) pursuant to the terms of the definitive purchase agreement announced 7th December, 2006. TTI is combining Hoover with its existing Dirt Devil and Royal operations in Glenwillow, Ohio, U.S. to create TTI Floor Care, the largest floor care business in North America. Mr. Chris Gurreri will become president of TTI Floor Care, North America.
Under the agreement, TTI will purchase all of the assets of Hoover for US$107 million in cash. The purchase will be financed through TTI internal resources and existing lines of credit.
TTI noted that all appropriate regulatory reviews have been completed at both the federal and state levels. The applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, has expired. The State of Ohio also completed its review of the transaction.
As part of the sale:
— TTI will assume certain liabilities of Hoover, including accounts payable as well as accruals and long-term post-retirement medical and life insurance benefits for transferred bargaining-unit employees.
— Whirlpool will retain the liabilities associated with pension and post-retirement benefit plans for currently retired Hoover employees and those who retire prior to the final closing date.
— TTI Floor Care will assume in full the existing union contract that covers approximately 800 hourly workers at Hoover’s North Canton, Ohio, manufacturing facility and nearby distribution center. The contract runs through June 2008.
— TTI Floor Care will assess all operations of Dirt Devil and Hoover, beginning immediately, to determine its specific manufacturing and distribution strategies.
— Through an agreement reached with the State of Ohio’s Department of Development, TTI Floor Care will establish its North American floor care headquarters in Glenwillow and will build a new global floor care product research and development center there. The new global R&D center will house product design and engineering associates, including the addition of approximately 110 new jobs over the next three years.
“We intend to develop innovative products that enable us to become a market leader in every floor care category,” Gurreri said. “Between TTI, Dirt Devil and Hoover, we now have under one roof a passion for floor care as well as financial and intellectual resources, design and marketing skills, a commitment to product innovation, highly recognized brands, and established retail distribution and supply chain expertise. It is truly an energizing moment and one that is full of opportunity.

Consumers and retailers alike can look forward to exciting developments from our flagship brands — Dirt Devil and Hoover. The combined operations also create a strong commercial floor care business featuring the Royal and Hoover brands.”
Mr. Joseph Galli Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Techtronic Appliances Holdings Co. Ltd., TTI’s global floor care and appliances division, concluded, “This acquisition is an important step in building a global leadership position in floor care. We are pleased to have the support of the State of Ohio as we implement our plans for the combined operations.
With nearly 100 years of quality and innovation, the Hoover name is synonymous with floor care and is one of the most recognized brands in the world. The addition of Hoover to our existing floor care businesses allows us to invest much more significantly in research and development, new product innovation and marketing.”

TTI’s portfolio of global brands, among others, Milwaukee(R), AEG(R), Ryobi(R), Homelite(R), Royal(R), Dirt Devil(R), Regina(R) and Vax(R).

TTI is one of the constituent stocks on the Hang Seng HK MidCap Index under the Hang Seng Composite Index, the MSCI Hong Kong Index, the FTSE All-World Hong Kong Index, the FTSE/Hang Seng Asian Cyclical Index and the Dow Jones Hong Kong Titans 30. For more information, please visit http://www.ttigroup.com .

Recall: Maytag and Jenn-Air Dishwashers – Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Name of product: Maytag® and Jenn-Air® brand dishwashers

Units: About 2.3 million

Manufacturer: Maytag Corp., of Newton, Iowa

Hazard: Liquid rinse-aid can leak from its dispenser and come into contact with the dishwasher’s internal wiring which can short-circuit and ignite, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Maytag has received 135 reports of dishwasher fires, resulting in product and/or property damage. Four injuries have been reported, including three reports of smoke inhalation and one serious hand laceration when operating a fire extinguisher to put out a fire in the dishwasher.

Description: The recall involves Maytag® and Jenn-Air® under counter or portable plastic tub dishwashers. The dishwashers have black, white, almond, bisque and stainless steel front panels. The following model and serial numbers are printed on a label located on the dishwasher’s plastic frame on top of or to the left of the door opening. Consumers should contact Maytag to determine if their dishwasher is included in this recall.

Brand Model numbers MUST
begin with…
AND serial numbers MUST end
with…
Maytag® MDB3, MDB4, MDB5,
MDB6, MDB7, MDB8,
MDB9, MDBD, MDC3,
MDC4, MDC5, DWU9
SM, SQ, SS, SU, SW, SY, SZ, UB,
UD, UF, UH, UK, UM, UQ, US, UU,
UW, UY, UZ, WB, WD, WF, WH, WK,
WM, WQ, WS, WU, WW, WY, WZ,
YB, YD, YF, YH, YK, YM, YQ, YS, YU,
YW, YY, YZ
Jenn-Air® JDB3, JDB4, JDB5,
JDB6, JDB7
UB, UD, UF, UH, UK, UM, UQ, US,
UU, UW, UY, UZ, WB, WD, WF, WH,
WK, WM, WQ, WS, WU, WW, WY,
WZ, YB, YD, YF, YH, YK, YM, YQ,
YS, YU, YW, YY, YZ

Sold at: Department and appliance stores and by homebuilders nationwide from July 1997 through June 2001 for between $370 and $800.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using these dishwashers, disconnect the electric supply by shutting off the fuse or circuit breaker controlling it and inform all users of the dishwasher about the risk of fire. Contact Maytag for either a free in-home repair, or a $75 cash back reimbursement following the purchase of a new Maytag®, Jenn-Air®, Whirlpool® or KitchenAid® dishwasher. Consumers should not return the dishwasher to the retailer where it was purchased, as retailers are not prepared to take units back.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact Maytag Corporation at (800) 675-0535 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.repair.maytag.com

Is Your Oven Giving You the Cold Shoulder?

We had an oven repairman in our kitchen today to look over my Bosch double wall oven. We got got an oven thermometer over the holidays and the oven never seems to get within 40-50 degrees of the designated temperature.

Bosch has replaced the oven once, and this second oven is already having problems though its only been in the wall for a month. (but more on that in another post.- their responsiveness is great, their quality is questionable)

Chatting with the repairman, he mentioned that newer electric ovens all run colder than the displayed temperature, and should either be calibrated hotter (360 for a 350 degree setting) or you should just set your dial hotter. He also mentioned that an oven is considered on temperature as long as it is within 25 degrees of the desired temperature.

One of our favorite sites (RepairClinic.com) discusses the same subject in this nice little article on getting your oven to hit the right temperature.

Some Tips for Ensuring Ovens Hit the Right Temperature
Can Ovens Be Blamed for Cooking Disasters?

CANTON, Mich., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ — This month RepairClinic.com(R), the online source of home appliance parts and repair advice, is shining its virtual repair flashlight on ovens. Ovens are often easy to service by home DIYers. RepairClinic can supply appliance repair parts and free repair help online, as well as shiny new knobs, racks and drip pans to spruce up older ovens.
“If you’re wondering why your oven-baked culinary masterpieces don’t come out right every time, don’t blame the chef, blame the oven!” says Chris Hall, president of RepairClinic.com. “All too often, home chefs will find out that their oven is not reaching and maintaining the temperature they’ve set, which means their recipes simply won’t turn out right. Our website can help them diagnose and fix problems with ovens — and many other home appliances.”
Home chefs who suspect their oven is not playing by the rules and keeping the right temperature should first verify that the oven’s built-in thermostat is working properly. This is easily accomplished with a separate oven thermometer. Set the oven temperature and then compare the temperature of the thermometer with the set temperature. To get an accurate reading, let the oven cycle on and off at least three times, which takes at least 20 minutes.
“Over the years, we’ve learned that most inexpensive dial thermometers sold in grocery stores as oven thermometers are generally not very accurate. To get a good reading, we recommend a glass-bulb thermometer,” says Hall. “Also, don’t expect perfection. For example, if you’ve set your oven to 350 degrees, it is acceptable for the actual temperature to be 325-375 degrees. Most recipes provide a range of cook times with this in mind. And, don’t forget that altitude and humidity can affect cook time.”
Some other causes of incorrect oven temperatures that RepairClinic.com encounters include:
Door gaskets: he oven door has a gasket to keep heat inside the oven. Over time, these gaskets can become torn or deformed and this will allow heat to escape. Inspect gaskets to ensure they are in good condition and replace them as necessary.
Door hinges: If an oven door does not close properly, heat can escape. Make sure the door closes tightly and evenly. If it doesn’t, check for broken or bent door hinges or door springs, which should be replaced.
Timer settings: There’s a tricky timer issue that has confused even the best of cooks. Many mechanical clocks and timers on ovens (those without digital LED displays) have a setting called “cook and hold.” If the clock is accidentally set to this position, the oven may not work at all until it is set back to normal. Consult the instruction manual to set the clock or timer correctly.

RepairClinic.com provides step-by-step instructions on how to fix all these problems, and can supply the right part for any type of oven.

Whirlpool seeks new Maytag Repairman

maytag repairman man men
Whirlpool Corp. is launching a nationwide search for someone to portray the Maytag Repairman — the lonely, iconic character that has represented Maytag for 40 years.

The Repairman has been under new ownership since Whirlpool purchased the Newton-based Maytag in March and announced that all Maytag’s Newton operations would close by the end of 2007.
The new Repairman could be a professional actor, an ordinary guy next door or even a real-life appliance repairman, Whirlpool officials said.