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Cooper Tire 1st-quarter profit doubles

Lower raw material prices and manufacturing costs more than offset sales drop.


Cooper Tire and Rubber Company headquarters in Findlay, Ohio.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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FINDLAY — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said Thursday its first-quarter profit more than doubled, as lower raw material prices and manufacturing costs more than offset a drop in sales.

The Findlay-based company earned $56.1 million, or 87 cents per share, up from $21.6 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Revenue fell 12 percent to $861.7 million, from $984.3 million last year.

While the per-share profit exceeded analysts' expectations, the revenue numbers fell short of expectations. Shares of the company's stock fell $2.01, or about 7.6 percent, to close at $24.33 on the New York Stock Exchange.

North American tire sales dropped 14 percent to $602.3 million, while international sales fell 16 percent to $341 million. Cooper attributed the decreases to lower sales volumes stemming from inventory adjustments at some of its customers, along with soft global demand for tires and continued weak economic conditions.

Those factors were offset by $90 million in lower raw material costs and $19 million in lower manufacturing costs, Cooper said.

Roy Armes, the company's chairman, chief executive officer, and president, said the company envisioned a "challenging" second quarter because of "continued softness in global demand and weakness in the economy."

Most of Cooper's business is replacement tires, although the company announced in February that it would supply tires for some models of the 2013 Ford Focus.



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