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Cooper Tire posts 38 percent jump in 1st-quarter profit

Better pricing, product mix boosts sales

FINDLAY, Ohio — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said Wednesday its first-quarter profit jumped 38 percent, as improvements in pricing and product mix more than offset lower sales volumes.

The Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker earned $21.6 million, or 34 cents per share, up from $15.7 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Sales rose 9.1 percent to $984.3 million from $901.8 million, as North American tire sales rose 8 percent to $698 million and international tire sales jumped 11 percent to $404 million.

The profit beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 31 cents per share on $999 million in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

Cooper said that pricing and product mix improvements boosted its sales by $71 million and helped offset $31 million in higher manufacturing costs, mainly stemming from its three-month-long lockout of union workers at its Findlay, Ohio plant that ended in February, and $8 million in higher raw material costs.

Cooper shares rose 30 cents, or 2 percent, to $15.45 in midday trading.

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