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US Commerce Backs Whirlpool, Plans Duties On South Korea Washing Machines

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05/30/2012 | 08:37pm CET
   By Tom Barkley 

The U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday backed Whirlpool Corp.'s (>> Whirlpool Corporation) claims that the company's South Korean rivals are benefiting from unfair government subsidies, setting initial retaliatory duties on imports of washing machines.

Commerce plans to impose countervailing duties of up to 70.58% on large residential washing machines made by Daewoo Electronics Corp., with tariff rates of just 0.22% for those made by Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNHY, 005930.SE) and 1.2% for those made by LG Electronics Inc. (066570.SE).

Since Daewoo declined to participate in the investigation, those higher rates are based on the "adverse facts available," Commerce said.

The announcement could represent just a temporary victory for Whirlpool in its efforts to combat increasing price competition in home appliances, since the company faces several more steps before winning any import relief. Once Commerce makes a final decision, the duties can only go into effect if the U.S. International Trade Commission decides the imports threaten to cause material injury to U.S. producers.

Last month, the Benton Harbor, Mich., company was denied the planned imposition of duties on refrigerators made by Samsung and LG, after the U.S. trade panel determined the imports didn't pose a threat to Whirlpool's business. Commerce had proposed both countervailing and antidumping duties on the fridges.

Commerce also is investigating whether the Korean washing machines are being dumped, or sold at less than normal value, in the U.S. market.

Imports of the washing machines fell to $568.6 million last year from $659.1 million in 2010, and are just below 2009 levels.

-By Tom Barkley, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9275; tom.barkley@dowjones.com

Stocks mentioned in the article : Whirlpool Corporation
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Financials ($)
Sales 2016 20 664 M
EBIT 2016 1 658 M
Net income 2016 947 M
Debt 2016 3 215 M
Yield 2016 2,35%
P/E ratio 2016 13,46
P/E ratio 2017 10,96
EV / Sales 2016 0,76x
EV / Sales 2017 0,71x
Capitalization 12 531 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 11
Average target price 192 $
Spread / Average Target 15%
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Jeff M. Fettig Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Marc Robert Bitzer President, Chief Operating Officer & Director
James Peters Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Michael C. Heim Chief Information Officer & Vice President
Gary T. DiCamillo Independent Director
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