AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. returned to profitability in its fourth quarter partly due to higher tire prices after reporting a loss a year ago that included hefty costs tied to a plant closing.
But its results fell short of Wall Street expectations, and its shares fell almost 2 percent in trading ahead of the market opening.
The biggest U.S. tire maker also cautioned Tuesday that long-term global tire industry growth will be at a slower pace near term than previously predicted due to ongoing economic difficulties in several markets.
For the period ended Dec. 31, Goodyear reported net income of $18 million, or 7 cents per share. That compares with a net loss of $177 million, or 73 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding one-time items in the latest period, Goodyear said that its earnings were 3 cents per share. Analysts expected earnings of 20 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.
The prior-year period included a $160 million charge tied to its plans to close a plant in Union City, Tenn.
Quarterly revenue increased 12 percent to $5.68 billion from $5.07 billion partly on higher tire prices, but tire unit volumes dropped 5 percent on difficulties in Latin America, flooding in Thailand and declining replacement industry volumes in mature markets.
The revenue performance missed Wall Street's estimate of $5.86 billion.
Goodyear said that revenue per tire rose 19 percent, taking out the effects of foreign currency translation.
Its shares fell 27 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $13.70 in premarket trading.
For the year, Goodyear reported net income of $321 million, or $1.26 per share. In the previous year it lost $216 million, or 89 cents per share.
The Akron, Ohio company's annual revenue rose 21 percent to $22.77 billion from $18.83 billion.