Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 28, 2011 9:00 am ET


Richard J. Kramer - Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer

Gregory A. Fritz - Vice President of Investor Relations

Darren R. Wells - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Ravi Shanker - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Patrick Nolan - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Brett D. Hoselton - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Himanshu Patel - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Christopher Reenock



Good morning, and welcome to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's Third Quarter Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I will now hand the floor to Greg Fritz, Vice President of Investor Relations. Thank you. Mr. Fritz, please go ahead.

Gregory A. Fritz

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Goodyear's third quarter conference call. Joining me today are Rich Kramer, Chairman and CEO; and Darren Wells, Executive Vice President and CFO. Before we get started, there are few items I would like to cover.

To begin, the webcast of this morning's discussion and the supporting slide presentation can be found on our website at Additionally, a replay of this call will be accessible later today. Replay instructions were included in our earnings release issued earlier this morning.

If I could now direct your attention to the Safe Harbor statement on Slide 2. Our discussion this morning may contain forward-looking statements based on our current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties, which can cause our actual results to differ materially, are outlined in Goodyear's filings with the SEC and in the earnings release. The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Turning now to the agenda. On today's call, Rich will provide a business overview, including third quarter highlights and accomplishments. After Rich's remarks, Darren will discuss the financial results and outlook before opening the call to your questions. With that, I will now turn the call over to Rich.

Richard J. Kramer

Thanks, Greg, and good morning, everyone. During the third quarter, we were very pleased that our positive results were achieved through continued execution of our strategic objectives. We saw that even in an uncertain economy, the tire industry MegaTrends we introduced in March are still valid and our plans to return long-term targets remain on track. I will discuss those topics with you today and conclude with a brief outlook on the work we have yet to do and the opportunities we see ahead.

Goodyear's positive momentum from the first half of 2011 continued over the past 3 months as we delivered the highest quarterly sales and earnings in our history. All 4 of our strategic business units set all-time quarterly sales records, leading to a total of $6.1 billion, the highest sales figures for any quarter in Goodyear's history.

I'm very pleased with our performance in the quarter as we demonstrated execution of capability and confirm that our strategies around renovation, brands and targeted market segments are in fact the right ones. To summarize some highlights of the quarter, revenue per tire was up 18% versus the prior year. Price/mix of nearly $740 million offset by $554 million in higher raw material costs in the quarter. This marks the second quarter in a row where we more than offset raw material cost increases of nearly 30%. Price/mix improvements were driven by a continued stream of consumer-focused innovative branded products, particularly evident in our award-winning winter products in Europe. And we continue to improve our mix by producing more of the high value-added tires that our consumers are demanding from our existing factories. The result was record segment operating income of $463 million. SOI for North American Tire was $78 million in the quarter and is now to $255 million year-to-date. Our European business delivered $260 million of operating income, increasing its 9 months total to $539 million, which is approaching the region's previous annual record. And finally, our third quarter performance was delivered on flat volumes reflecting somewhat weaker demand, but more importantly, consistent with our selectivity strategy focusing our business on targeted market segments.

As we assess our third quarter performance, we gain more confidence in the 7 MegaTrends that we identified and we believe will define industry over the next 5 to 10 years. In particular, volume in emerging markets continues to grow in the aggregate and mature markets continue to offer significant growth in the key segments that are demanding, leading-edge performance products.

Tires constructed with innovative technologies are rapidly differentiating the upper and the lower ends of the market. It's increasingly clear that tire technology matters more than ever to our customers. And such technology is accentuated by 2 other MegaTrends, the green movements and of course, tire labeling. Those trends are developing in the marketplace and we saw their impact in the improved price and mix driving our third quarter results, the only chance to compete in the marketplace that allows us to differentiate our products through innovation and marketing. And remember, we're only at the front end of the MegaTrends so there is more opportunity that's ahead of us.

Our third quarter performance provide a clear evidence to us that our strategy is the right one for both now and for where the industry is headed. Now as pleased as I am with our third quarter and year-to-date results, I'd like to reiterate that we're not running our business for one good quarter, one good year or short-term performance. Our strategy in our goals are based on delivering results consistently over the long term and we know there is still work to be done. We defined our destination as being profitable throughout the economic cycles and creating sustainable economic value. We will achieve this outcome through industry-leading innovation and by targeting profitable segments by delivering strong returns on our investments, by staying focused on cash and working capital and by achieving operational excellence. Our initiatives are aimed at being the best in service to our customers to help them grow profitably selling Goodyear products.

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