AKRON-Boosted by the performance and growth worldwide of its business units, Goodyear in 1993 recorded the second-highest income in its 95-year history, while TBC Corp. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. both posted income levels below last year's results. All three companies recently released their fourth quarter and year-end results.
Goodyear said 1993 earnings-before extraordinary items and the effect of accounting changes-grew 33.1 percent to $488.7 million, the second-highest mark in company history next to the $513.9 million earned in 1987.
Net income for the year was $387.8 million. Sales fell slightly to $11.6 billion.
In the fourth quarter, the tire maker earned $113.2 million, up 29.4 percent from $87.5 million in 1992. The 1992 results included nonrecurring items resulting in a net gain of $20.5 million, and a charge of $15.3 million for debt retirement.
CEO Stanley C. Gault said the company was ``extremely pleased with our operating results.''
Goodyear rang up 1993 fourth-quarter sales of $2.92 billion, down slightly from $2.93 billion in 1992, though the latter figure included about $87 million of sales from divested assets.
In its tire segment, sales in the quarter improved 2.6 percent to $2.51 billion. For the year, tire sales grew 2 percent to $9.96 billion.
Worldwide tire unit sales rose 3.5 percent in the quarter and 4.2 percent for the year.
In Canada, 1993 sales improved by 7.7 percent to $584.3 million. Operating income was $12 million compared with $4 million in 1992.
Continuing its drive to reduce corporate debt, the company said debt at the end of 1993 was $1.4 billion, $525 million lower than the year before.
At least one analyst was somewhat surprised by the tire maker's continued strong showing.
Sheldon Grodsky, director of research for Grodsky Associates Inc. in South Orange, N.J., said he wishes he knew what the key to Goodyear's success is. ``They're just doing something right. Somewhere they're getting cost out of their system (and are) doing better than I thought they could under these (market) conditions.''
Hurt by a weak fourth quarter, TBC Corp.'s sales and net earnings fell slightly in 1993 from the year before.
The downturn ends a seven-year streak in which the firm's annual earnings had reached new highs.
For the year, income slipped 4.8 percent to $21.4 million vs. $22.5 million in 1992. Sales fell less than 1 percent to $568.7 million from $569.5 million.
Earnings per share of $0.74 were the second highest in company history.
A downturn in the fourth quarter hurt TBC's yearly results. In that period, ended Dec. 31, TBC's net income slid 16.9 percent to $4.91 million from $5.9 million, as sales fell 7.3 percent to $129.6 million from $139.8 million.
CEO Marvin E. Bruce said changes in inventory levels among distributors and their retail customers in 1993 ``caused our performance to be somewhat below the company's long-term record.''
Following the pattern of the industry, he said TBC's tire shipments were off 0.7 percent for the year, an expected slowdown following 1992 when company shipments grew 13.4 percent.
Still, Mr. Bruce is confident the firm will continue its on-going expansion.
``The underlying consumer demand for replacement tires is continuing to rise steadily, and TBC's record demonstrates noteworthy success in capturing an increasing share of aftermarket sales made by independent tire dealers,'' he said.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. posted record net sales and its second highest net income in history, aided by strong volume among its engineered products, which it said offset reduced tire shipments.
For the year, income slipped 5.5 percent to $102.2 million compared to $108.2 million before a $65 million cumulative charge for accounting changes in 1992. During that period, sales increased 1.6 percent to $1.19 billion from $1.18 billion in 1992.
Cooper Chairman Ivan W. Gorr said he believes the 1993 numbers are in line with the company's long-term growth trends in sales and earnings.
``If the economy continues to improve, we expect the markets for tires and engineered products to be good during 1994,'' Mr. Gorr said. ``Our financial position is excellent, and we are well positioned for future growth.''