FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported net income of $62 million in the third quarter of 2017. This compares with net income of $49 million in the third quarter of 2016.
Operating profit for Cooper totaled $101 million in 2017's third quarter, or 13.8 percent of net sales, up $23 million from the same period in 2016, the company said. Net sales decreased 2.3 percent in 2017's third quarter, to $734 million from 2016's $751 million, it said in an Oct. 30 press release.
Consolidated unit volume fell 2 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to Cooper. The company had 31.3-percent growth in the international segment, with Asia leading the way, the company said. But a 7.5-percent drop in volume in the Americas more than offset the international growth, it said.
"Our third-quarter performance, particularly the decline in North America unit volume, reflects continued challenges within the tire industry, including raw material cost variability, weak trends in retail sell-out of tires to consumers, elevated inventory in the channels and a fluid promotional landscape," said Cooper President & CEO Brad Hughes in the press release.
The hurricanes in Texas and Florida exacerbated these problems, Hughes said. Cooper is responding to these conditions through competitive pricing, promotions and expansions in the auto dealer and e-commerce channels, he said.
Cooper reported diluted earnings per share of $1.18, as compared to 90 cents per share in the third quarter of 2016.
On Oct. 27, the Findlay-based tire maker reported its 183rd consecutive quarterly dividend, of 10.5 cents per share on common stock, payable Dec. 29 to stockholders of record Dec. 1.
Results for the third quarter of 2016 included a non-cash pension settlement charge of $11.5 million related to the lump-sum distribution of benefits to certain former employees, according to Cooper.
In contrast, third-quarter results for 2017 included a $39 million benefit in operating profit from lower product liability costs, related to a reduction in the company's product liability reserves, it said.
Cooper also will announce new original equipment fitments in the near future, according to Hughes.
"In addition, we have an aggressive schedule of new product introductions underway that continues throughout 2018 and 2019," he said.