FINDLAY, Ohio (July 22)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., coming off record sales and earnings in the second quarter, anticipates further results growth throughout fiscal 2004 despite continued high raw material costs.
For the third quarter, Cooper sees earnings of 35 to 40 cents per share, up from 29 cents a share in the third quarter of 2003.
Through the first six months of 2004, Cooper's passenger and light truck tire business is growing at nearly twice the pace of the industry, according to Thomas A. Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO, who said Cooper's shipments grew 9.8 percent vs. the industry's 5-percent growth.
"Our customers continue to want more of our tires than we can currently produce," Dattilo said, noting that Cooper's fill rates have slipped into the 80s percentagewise as the firm works to adjust its capacity and supply relationships to meet demand for its changing product line. The firm has accelerated the pace of its plant expansion/modernization projects to address this issue, Chief Financial Officer Phil Weaver said, which means capital investments this year likely will exceed projections.
For the second quarter, Cooper reported record net income of $33.4 million, up 163 percent, and record sales of $991.8 million. The tire unit reported a 94.1-percent jump in operating profit to $26.4 million as sales surged ahead 19.2 percent to $514.6 million.
For the six months, net income more than doubled to $57.2 million on sales of $1.97 billion. Tire unit operating income rose 40.8 percent to $42.1 million as sales climbed 20.8 percent to $999.7 million.