AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- The chairman and chief executive of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said Tuesday the world's third-largest tire maker is well positioned to weather economic uncertainty.
Shares spiked 93 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $27.75 in midday trading. Shares have traded between $22.27 and $36.90 in the past 12 months.
Speaking at the company's annual shareholder meeting, Robert J. Keegan noted that the company's total debt and legacy obligations are expected to fall to about $6 billion in 2008 from a high of more than $12 billion two years ago. The company has also made improvements in its cost structure, he said.
''We remain diligent in our planning relative to economic conditions,'' Keegan said in a release. ''However, the improvements we have made in our go-to-market model, in our cost structure and in our balance sheet give me confidence that Goodyear is well positioned to continue to progress.''
In 2007, Goodyear earned $602 million, or $2.65 per share, compared with a 2006 loss of $330 million, or $1.86 per share.
Annual sales increased to $19.64 billion from $18.75 billion.