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Published: Thursday, 4/21/2005

Strike in Arkansas hurts Cooper Tire's net

FINDLAY - Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., one of the nation's largest tire producers, said yesterday that a 26-day strike at an Arkansas factory hurt its profit for the first quarter, even though its sales increased.

The Fortune 500 firm said profit slumped 79 percent to $5.2 million, or 7 cents a share, from $24.3 million, or 32 cents a share, for the period a year earlier. The strike cost the firm about $7 million, or 7 cents a share, but much of that was offset by the company's sale of its automotive parts business, resulting in a $6 million gain for the quarter.

Cooper said its sales for the quarter were a record $514 million, compared with $480 million a year earlier.

The company's stock closed yesterday up 27 cents at $17.24 a share in twice normal volume trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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