Cooper Tire Shares Up Amid Selloff on Fourth-Quarter Earnings Win

Cooper Tire shares are higher, in contrast to the overall market, as the company beat fourth-quarter-earnings forecasts.
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Shares of Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB) - Get Report were higher, in contrast to the overall market, as the tire maker beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter-earnings forecasts.

The Findlay, Ohio, company reported net income of $51.3 million, or $1.02 a share, compared with a loss of $419,000, or 1 cent a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were calling for earnings of 67 cents a share.

Sales totaled $750.2 million, down 2.6% from $770.5 million, but ahead of the FactSet consensus of $746 million.

Looking ahead to 2020, Cooper Tire & Rubber said it expected a modest global unit volume increase from 2019, including in the U.S. 

The company said it was also looking for its operating-profit margin to improve during the year, with the second half better than the first half, and the full year exceeding 2019.

"We have improved our product mix through a continued focus on high-value-add tires, forged ahead into the original equipment space with Mercedes-Benz as a key customer, and delivered a strong cadence of compelling new products," President and CEO Brad Hughes said in a statement.

Hughes said that fourth-quarter operating-profit margin improved both sequentially and from the year-earlier period. Volumes declined in all regions "as global tire markets continued to be affected by unfavorable economic and political factors."

"Yet, in our core U.S. market, light-vehicle-tire volume was in line with the industry, and in Asia, third-party sales were up compared to last year," he said.

The company's performance contrasted with the broader market, where stocks were sinking as investors worried about the global spread of the coronavirus.

During a conference call with analysts, Hughes said that "at this point, we have not attempted to include any financial impact related to the coronavirus in our outlook."

"While we expect an impact from the coronavirus, we cannot reasonably estimate the nature or size of the impact at this time because the situation remains very fluid," he said, according a transcript of the call. 

"As circumstances surrounding the coronavirus stabilize, we will provide an update as appropriate."

At last check Cooper Tire shares were up 4.9% at $28.12.