Whirlpool to cut 5,000 jobs, drops outlook for earnings

Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. plans to cut 5,000 jobs, about 10 percent of its work force in North America and Europe, as it faces soft demand and higher costs for materials.

The world’s biggest appliance maker also on Friday cut its 2011 earnings outlook drastically and reported third-quarter results that missed expectations, hurt by higher costs and a slowdown in emerging markets. Shares fell over 14 percent Friday.

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool’s third-quarter net income more than doubled to $177 million, or $2.27 per share, from $79 million, or $1.02 per share. Adjusted earnings of $2.35 per share fell short of analyst expectations for $2.73 per share.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $4.63 billion, short of expectations for $4.74 billion.

Merck’s quarterly profit climbs, beats expectations

Drugmaker Merck & Co. said Friday that its third-quarter profit soared from a year ago — a weak quarter weighed down by huge acquisition and legal charges.

But compared to the second quarter, prescription drug sales were flat and total revenue was down 1 percent.

The latest results beat Wall Street estimates. Merck shares rose 80 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $35.11.

Total revenue of $12.02 billion was up 8 percent from a year ago, largely due to a 5 percent boost from favorable currency exchange rates, but was down from $12.15 billion in the second quarter.

Like other drugmakers, Merck continues to suffer from U.S. and European government health programs reining in spending, generic competition to former blockbusters and other problems.

Chevron profit more than doubles as oil prices soar

Chevron Corp.’s quarterly profit more than doubled as a jump in petroleum prices made up for declining production.

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company after Exxon Mobil, said Friday that it sold oil and natural gas at sharply higher prices in the third quarter.

The company, based in San Ramon, Calif., reported net income of $7.83 billion, or $3.92 per share, for the quarter. That compared with $3.77 billion, or $1.87 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 26 percent to $61.3 billion.

Results beat expectations of $3.47 per share but fell short of revenue estimates of $70.4 billion, according to FactSet.

Shares rose 38 cents to close at $109.64.

High-end tires translate to best quarter for Goodyear

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. posted a profit for the third quarter on a 22 percent rise in revenue Friday as its strategy of promoting high-end tires paid off even as the number of tires it sold was unchanged.

The Akron, Ohio-based company, the biggest U.S. tire maker and third largest globally, said its revenue was the highest for any quarter in its history.

Its shares closed up 56 cents, or nearly 4 percent, at $14.84.

Goodyear reported net income of $161 million, or 60 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. It lost $20 million, or 8 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Cigna profit falls for quarter, but it expects 2012 growth

Cigna Corp.’s third-quarter profit tumbled 35 percent due to a bigger hit from some discontinued businesses, but income from its main segments grew and it became the latest managed-care company to forecast 2012 growth.

The Bloomfield, Conn., health insurer said Friday it expects to add at least 400,000 people next year to its health care membership.

Cigna said Friday its net income fell to $200 million, or 74 cents per share, in the three months that ended Sept. 30, from $307 million, or $1.13 per share, a year ago.

— From news service reports