FINDLAY, Ohio (Aug. 2)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. fell into the red in the second quarter and first half of the year on the effects of the work stoppage earlier this year at its Texarkana, Ark., plant and steep declines in its North American tire unit´s profitability.
Cooper reported a net loss of $6.88 million in the second quarter, down from earnings of $34 million for the same period in 2004. For the first six months, Cooper posted a loss of $1.67 million, which contrasts with earnings of $58.3 million last year.
Cooper said it plans to report earnings in the third quarter of 10 to 14 cents per share as business improves despite some "lingering impact" from the Texarkana stoppage.
The strike in Texarkana, which began in March and continued into April, was resolved by the ratification of a five-year contract on April 10. The stoppage reduced net income by about $9 million in the second quarter and about $14 million in the half, the tire maker said.
Net sales inched up less than 1 percent to $510.9 million from $509.2 million last year. Sales for the half grew 3.6 percent to $1.02 billion from $989.2 million in 2004.
In North America, operating profit plummeted 89.7 percent to $2.26 million in the quarter and 72.2 percent to $9.73 million for the half.
North American sales were up slightly to $459.8 million during the quarter and to $923.7 million for the half, on improvements in price and mix. These were offset, however, by lower unit sales—the result of weaker-than-expected market demand for the industry overall and especially the light truck replacement market.
"We have worked hard to overcome some very difficult operating conditions during the quarter and the first half of the year," said Thomas Dattilo, Cooper chairman, president and CEO. "We made some good progress once the strike was behind us, and that progress was clearly evident in June, but it was not enough to offset the broad impact on sales and disruption of our manufacturing operations in the first two months of the quarter."