Goodyear's Earnings Greatly Lag Expectations

Goodyear Tire & Rubber says it's suffering from economic weakness overseas.
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Shares of Goodyear Tire & Rubber  (GT) - Get Report plunged Tuesday after the tire maker reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

Goodyear’s net sales dropped 4.2% in the quarter from a year earlier to $3.71 billion. Analysts had forecast $3.88 billion on average, with a range of $3.75 billion to $4.04 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Adjusted earnings per share totaled 19 cents in the fourth quarter, down from 51 cents a year earlier. Analysts had predicted 52 cents on average, with a range of 36 to 64 cents.

Tire unit volume slid 2% in the fourth quarter.

While U.S. market conditions were “stable,” Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer said in a statement that the company continues "to face a challenging global environment, including recessionary demand trends in many international markets.”

To adjust to that environment, “we remain focused on further improving our cost structure and working capital management,” he said.

The sales drop was “driven primarily by lower industry volume and unfavorable foreign currency translation, partially offset by improved price/mix,” Kramer said.

At last check, Goodyear shares traded at $11.94, down 9.48%. The stock has plummeted 36% over the past year, compared to a 25% gain for the S&P 500 index. With its 4.85% dividend, Goodyear generated a total return of negative 26% in the year through Monday, according to Morningstar.