U.S. News

Cooper Tire Swings to Profit, Helped by Cost Cutting


Cooper Tire & Rubber on Monday said that it swung to a profit in the second quarter as the company continued to benefit from cost cuts introduced nearly a year ago and also enjoyed higher prices in North America and increasing sales overseas.

Cooper said it made $18 million, or 28 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 30 compared with a loss of $21 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago that was blamed on weak demand for replacement tires. Former Chief Executive Thomas Dattilo quit the day the loss was announced.

Sales totaled $750.6 million, compared with $624.8 million last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected profits of 20 cents a share.

Shares jumped 10 percent, or $2.12, to $23.30 at the open of trading Monday.

"The second quarter of 2006 was an unforgettable low point for our company," Cooper President and Chief Executive Roy Armes said in a statement. "I am proud of the work performed by Cooper employees around the globe. Their efforts have significantly contributed to our return to profitability."

Cooper's North American tire operations generated $23 million in operating profit during the quarter, compared with a loss of $30 million a year ago. Revenue increased 20 percent to $554 million from $463 million. The company attributed the improvement to price increases as well as cost reduction and profit improvement initiatives announced last September.

Cooper said its international tire operations reported sales of $234 million, up 26 percent from the year-ago period. Operating profit in the quarter totaled $11.7 million compared with $7.7 million a year ago.

For the year to date, the company has made $38 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with a loss of $26 million, or 46 cents a share, last year. Revenue rose to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion last year.