News Column

Cooper Tire profits up 8% as material costs tumble

August 8, 2014

By Jon Chavez, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

Aug. 08--FINDLAY -- Buoyed by lower raw material costs and freed from the expenses of a failed merger attempt, Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. on Thursday said its profits for the second quarter rose 8 percent from the same period a year ago.

The Findlay tire maker reported a quarterly profit of $38.2 million, or 59 cents a share, up from $35.5 million, or 55 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2013

Cooper said its total revenues increased 1 percent to $889 million from $884 million a year ago.

"We continued our strong performance in what is usually a seasonally weak quarter, posting very good volume growth in most geographic regions. Pricing decreased, mainly driven by lower raw material costs, but the 10-percent global unit growth, along with our focus on cost reductions, helped us exceed last year's operating margin," said Roy Armes, Coopers' chairman, chief executive officer, and president.

Cooper's second quarter operating profit was $77 million, compared with $69 million a year ago. The increase was because of favorable raw material costs, higher unit volume, better general and administrative costs, added manufacturing efficiencies, and no more costs tied to a failed 2013 merger attempt with Apollo Tyres Ltd. of India.

A year ago, Cooper had $7 million in second quarter costs relating to the then-pending merger.

Also Thursday, Cooper announced that it has begun an accelerated share repurchase program with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. Under the program, Cooper will buy back $200 million of its common stock. Cooper will receive approximately 80 percent of the number of shares to be repurchased at the inception of the program, or approximately 5.6 million shares. "Cooper is in a strong financial position, and the accelerated share repurchase demonstrates our commitment to continuing to deliver value to shareholders," Mr. Armes said.

Shares of Cooper stock closed at $29.27 Thursday, up 53 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.


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Source: Blade (Toledo, OH)

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