QUINCY, Ill. (April 29, 2009)—Record sales of farm tires failed to offset a decline in total sales and earning for Titan International Inc. during the first quarter.
The Quincy-based tire maker reported a 13.4-percent decrease in net earnings to $7.04 million as net sales fell 8.2 percent to $232.6 million in the quarter ended March 31, compared with the year-ago period.
Agricultural sales hit a record of $187.3 million, an 8-percent jump over the previous first quarter.
“Large farm tires and wheels were selling well in the first quarter of 2009, along with Titan's new super giant mining tires,” said Titan Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. “It is difficult to predict what will happen moving forward. The price of corn is holding and soybeans are up, so the agricultural market looks good, but are farmers going to keep buying with all the uncertainty in the economy? I don't know. The orders for second quarter are good, but lead times are much shorter today than six months ago. All of Titan's material costs are dropping except nylon.”
He also noted, “There is no shortage of giant mining tires today and pricing has dropped by at least 25 percent because of the drop in material costs.”
The company attributed a 45.9-percent plunge in earthmover/construction sales to $39.9 million for the quarter to the impact of the worldwide recession.