After initially telling shareholders it expected earnings this year to fall short of 2016, Bridgestone revised its forecast upward, even though the result still won't match the fiscal 2016 operating ratio of 13.5 percent.
Bridgestone anticipates fiscal 2017 passenger/light truck tire sales growth of 5 percent and 6-10 percent for truck/bus tires. In North America, demand for passenger/light truck tires will be flat vs. 2016 in both original equipment and replacement, whereas demand for truck tires should continue between 6-10 percent.
Michelin said the negative full-year impact from raw materials costs could be as much as $860 million, but it expects to be able to offset this through managing prices and holding unit margins firm in businesses not subject to indexation clauses and applying those clauses in business that are.
Because of solid sales growth in the first half, Continental management raised the firm's sales forecast for fiscal 2017 by nearly $550 million and confirmed the earlier earnings outlook.
"Our business with innovative technologies for assisted and automated as well as with connected and efficient driving once again grew faster than the global market for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles," Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart said.
Nevertheless, Degenhart continues to regard the market environment as challenging, with economic and political uncertainties influencing market activities. "Over the past few years, we have further improved our agility and flexibility—and we are now benefiting from this," he added.
Richard Kramer, Goodyear chairman and CEO, told shareholders that "despite the near-term challenges, I am no less optimistic about our ability to drive our strategic priorities against the favorable industry megatrends."
For the full year, Goodyear expects sales volumes to be down about 3.5 percent from 2016 and segment operating income to fall between $1.6 billion and $1.65 billion, down from $2 billion last year.
Sumitomo raised its earnings projection 26 percent despite suffering double-digit drops in income for the quarter and half-year. The revised forecast is based on the expected easing of raw materials prices, stable currencies and gradual economic recoveries in key markets during the second half of 2017.
Yokohama management revised the firm's initial full-year operating profit forecast from February by about 5 percent to $445 million.
Cooper is sticking with its previous full-year operating margin profit forecast of 8-10 percent, based in part on the firm's belief that it will be able to generate earnings at the high end of that range.
"The tire industry continues to face turbulence in the U.S. market in the form of raw material cost variability, weak trends in retail sell-out of tires to consumers, elevated inventory in the channels and a fluid pricing and promotional landscape," said President and CEO Brad Hughes, who based his firm's optimism on an improvement in the second quarter over the first quarter.
For the full fiscal year, Toyo is projecting its tire business will generate $2.88 billion in sales, a 6.6 percent improvement over 2016 and 1.6 percent better than the firm's earlier forecast. Operating income should finish the year 9 percent ahead of 2016.
Toyo based its upbeat forecast on more favorable expectations for reduced raw materials costs in the second half.
Nokian anticipates 5 percent growth in operating income for the full fiscal year on sales growth of at least 10 percent over 2016.
The sales improvement by Titan—the company's second consecutive quarter of growth after a four-year period of protracted downturn—prompted President and CEO Paul Reitz to profess optimism heading into 2018.
Reitz said Titan sees opportunities to utilize its tire manufacturing and technical expertise to expand into other related products that don't require significant, additional investment.