BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Whirlpool Corp.’s sales dropped 8% for the third quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to a recent earnings report, but it raised its profit outlook for the year, saying that its cost-cutting measures will pay off in the final quarter.“Our strong operating performance improvement in the quarter highlights our successful cost-reduction efforts, the strength of our global operating platform, our commitment to product innovation, and strong consumer brands,” says Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer of Whirlpool. “These factors, combined with our continued emphasis on marketplace execution, will remain key focal points as we manage through this challenging macroeconomic environment.”For the full-year 2009, Whirlpool expects earnings per diluted share to be approximately $4.25 compared with the prior expectation of $3.50 to $4 per diluted share. For the full year, the company expects to generate free cash flow of approximately $500 million to $600 million compared to the prior expectation of $300 million to $400 million.“Our improved outlook reflects our success in restructuring our business to aggressively align our capacity and resources to lower demand levels,” says Fettig. “While we continue to see uncertain and volatile demand levels in many markets, we are well-positioned to deliver higher 2009 earnings and free cash flow compared with our previous expectations.”The company reported net sales of $4.5 billion in the third quarter of 2009 compared to $4.9 billion for the same period last year, as well as earnings of $1.15 per diluted share compared to $2.15 per diluted share. Excluding the impact of foreign-exchange translation, the company’s third-quarter sales declined approximately 3%.