Cooper Tire 1nd-quarter profit doubles

Cooper Tire 1st-qtr net income more than doubles on profitability improvements

Associated Press

FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) -- Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said Thursday its first-quarter net income more than doubled, as lower raw material prices and manufacturing costs more than offset a drop in sales.

The Findlay, Ohio-based company earned $56.1 million, or 87 cents per share, up from $21.6 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Revenue fell 12 percent to $861.7 million, from $984.3 million last year.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 66 cents per share on $965 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

North American tire sales dropped 14 percent to $602.3 million, while international sales fell 16 percent to $341 million. Cooper attributed the decreases to lower sales volumes stemming from inventory adjustments at some of its customers, along with soft global demand for tires and continued weak economic conditions.

Those factors were offset by $90 million in lower raw material costs and $19 million in lower manufacturing costs, Cooper said.

The company added that it expects the weakness in global tire demand and economic conditions to continue through the current quarter and possibly beyond.

Cooper shares opened Thursday trading down 77 cents, or 2.9 percent, at $25.57.

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