FINDLAY, Ohio (Feb. 16)—Despite 4-percent higher sales during the fourth quarter, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s North American tire operations suffered a 40.1-percent drop in segment operating profit on lower unit volumes, 16-percent higher raw material costs and other factors.
Overall, Cooper reported net sales in the quarter of $541 million, up 5.1 percent from last year. Net income from continuing operations fell 58.4 percent to $3.2 million. Including income from discontinued operations and the gain from the sale of Cooper-Standard Automotive, the tire maker posted net income of $133.2 million vs. $28.2 million in 2003.
For the full year, Cooper's sales rose 12.4 percent to $2.08 billion. Overall net income surged 173 percent to $201.4 million. Tire operations' net sales grew 11.3 percent to $1.87 billion, while net profit fell slightly to $76 million.
Thomas Dattilo, chairman, CEO and president, forecast earnings in the first quarter of 1 to 3 cents per share. Per share earnings from continuing operations were 4 cents per share in the fourth period.