Tire and wheel manufacturer Titan International Inc. posted net earnings of $11 million in 2005, the second consecutive year in which the company finished in the black.
The result came despite a net loss of $5.5 million in the fourth quarter. The loss was caused in part by a $15.2 million charge regarding a California breach of contract lawsuit involving Titan's wheel business.
The company's loss from operations for the quarter was $17.3 million and its operating income for 2005 was $12 million, with both figures negatively affected by the charge from the court case.
The Quincy-based firm-which specializes in tires, wheels and assemblies for the agricultural, earthmoving/construction and consumer markets-reported net sales of $470.1 million for the year, down from $510.6 million in 2004. Excluding Titan Europe, which was sold in April of that year, pro forma sales for 2004 were $461.1 million, the company said.
Net sales for the fourth quarter fell 8.8 percent to $96.6 million from the like period of 2004.
Gross profits for the quarter-affected by rising energy and raw materials costs-were $6.7 million, compared with $13.1 million a year earlier, Titan said.
The company's interest expense for the fourth quarter was $1.9 million, down from $2.6 million a year earlier, and the figure for the entire year was $8.6 million, compared with $16.2 million in 2004.
``Titan achieved another consecutive year of strong sales and profits,'' said Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan chairman and CEO. ``Our employees have worked hard, and it is paying off.
``The company is growing and expanding. Our acquisition of Goodyear's North American farm tire assets provides great opportunity for the future, and the best selection of American made and owned products in off-highway wheel and tire assemblies for our customers.''
Titan completed the purchase of Goodyear's North American farm tire business on Dec. 28 for about $100 million. The assets purchased included about $45 million in inventory and supplies and about $55 million in plant, property and equipment located in Freeport, Ill. The company funded the acquisition through an increase in its revolving credit facility.
Titan has said the Goodyear deal could increase annual sales by as much as $250 million.
The company also is awaiting approval by a special board of directors committee, the entire board and its shareholders on its sale to One Equity Partners L.L.C., a private equity affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The transaction-which at $18 per share would be worth about $350 million-would make Titan a private company after its shares had been traded for 12 years on the New York Stock Exchange.