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Thomas Wells | Daily Journal

Cooper Tire sales and profit down for volume drops

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. on Tuesday reported earnings of $77 million for all of 2018, a 19 percent drop from the $95 million it earned a year earlier. Sales totaled $2.81 billion, down from $2.85 billion.

The results included a $34 million goodwill impairment charge.

The Findlay, Ohio-based company said consolidated unit volume fell 2.4 percent.

For the fourth quarter, sales increased 1.8 percent to $770 million. Operating making for $25 million; without the goodwill charge, operating profit would have been $59 million.

Cooper President and CEO Brad Hughes said, “As projected, in the fourth quarter we drove unit volume growth in the U.S., which was offset by volume declines in our other regions, reflecting economic and political factors. Raw material costs improved sequentially, but were up on a year-over-year basis by nearly 8 percent.”

Hughes also said the company expects growth in tire demand, particularly in the U.S.

Ahead of the earnings report, last week the company announced a quarterly dividend of 10.5 cents per share on common stock, payable March 29 to stockholders of record at the close of business March 1, 2019. It will be Cooper’s 188th consecutive quarterly dividend.

Cooper employs some 1,400 at its plant in Tupelo, where it has operated since 1984. Last year, the facility rolled out its 375 millionth tire.

Earlier this week, Cooper said that members of United Steelworkers Local 556L in Clarksdale ratified a new four-year labor agreement, which covers more than 40 USW members.

The Tupelo plant is not unionized, and attempts in the past to organize the plant have been unsuccessful.


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