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Home Depot closing two N.C. stores

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot is closing two of its stores in North Carolina because they are not meeting the company’s financial goals, according to a report by WCTI-TV.  

Stores in Rocky Mount and Greenville have begun liquidation sales, which are expected to last six to eight weeks. A corporate spokesperson said the company is trying to relocate the employees.

On Jan. 27, the Grand Rapids Press reported that an underperforming Home Depot store in Holland, Mich., had also begun a liquidation sale.

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Whirlpool reports strong Q4, full-year earnings

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $171 million, up 80% from $95 million during the same period in 2009. 

Fourth-quarter operating profit totaled $202 million, up 1.5% from $199 million in the prior year. Results benefited from cost reduction and productivity initiatives, increased monetization of certain tax credits, higher unit volume and lower incentive compensation. 

Full-year 2010 net earnings were $619 million, up 89% from $328 million reported for 2009.

Annual net sales were $18.4 billion, up 7% from the prior year. 

"Delivering consumer-relevant innovations, managing costs and executing in the marketplace drove our improved performance in 2010," said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool. "We improved our operating margins and strengthened our financial position for the year — all indicators that our brand-value creation strategy is working. 

"As we enter 2011, we remain focused on delivering higher margin innovations, realizing significant cost productivity, and achieving profitable growth driven by some recovery in demand in the developed economies and by continued strong growth in many emerging markets. In 2011, we expect to expand our operating margins despite significant global inflation and generate good levels of free cash flow and further strengthen our financial position."

In addition, fourth-quarter sales for Whirlpool North America totaled $2.6 billion, down 1% from the prior year. Whirlpool Europe reported fourth-quarter sales of $922 million, down 4% from the same period in 2009. Whirlpool Latin America posted fourth-quarter net sales of $1.4 billion, up 18% from the prior year. Fourth-quarter sales for Whirlpool Asia totaled $204 million, up 9% from 2009. 

For 2011, Whirlpool expects to report diluted earnings per share of $12.00 to $13.00.  This outlook includes the impact of about $4.00 per share from U.S. energy tax credits the company expects to earn during 2011 due to recent tax legislation.

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Black & Decker rolls out pivoting paint roller

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Towson, Md.-based Black & Decker introduced a new paint roller with a pivoting head that stores paint in its long handle. 

Designed for speed and ease of use, the RapidRoller Paint Roller eliminates the need for paint trays through an E-Z Fill System that draws paint into its long handle. The company said the design of the tool helps consumers complete projects up to two times faster than with traditional rollers. And it’s the first paint roller to come with a kickstand, when the user needs to take a break.

"Painting has been among the most popular DIY projects for decades. Black & Decker is proud to provide a painting solution that solves common user frustrations,” said Steve Wiezorek, group product manager at Black & Decker.

The new RapidRoller will carry a price point of $34.99, the company said.

 

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