AKRON—The first quarter was a good one for most of five tire industry firms that recently reported financial results. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Myers Industries Inc. and Carlisle Companies Inc. reported record sales and profits for the period, ended March 31.
Treadco Inc. increased sales and reduced its quarterly loss.
Titan International Inc., still suffering from strikes at two tire plants, saw sales and earnings tumble.
Improved sales in its industrial components unit, which includes tires, helped Carlisle post higher sales and earnings in the quarter.
Pre-tax earnings for industrial components rose 12.1 percent to $20.4 million as sales improved 4.1 percent to $145.1 million. Carlisle, based in Syracuse, N.Y., attributed much of the increase to expanded sales of tire and wheel assembilies.
Overall, Carlisle's profits grew 14.7 percent to $21.8 million; sales rose 7.4 percent to $390 million.
Cooper Tire & Rubber
Bouyed by a 10-percent hike in tire unit shipments, Cooper reported record results for the quarter.
Net income for the Findlay, Ohio, tire maker rose 18.4 percent to $31.4 million. Net sales climbed 6.9 percent to $467.9 million.
Both company segements performed well. Tire division sales rose 6.6 percent to $352.1 million; those for engineered products grew 8 percent to $115.8 million.
Cooper Chairman Patrick Rooney said the firm's replacement tire sales expanded at twice the industry rate in the period.
Cooper, which aligned with Italy's Pirelli S.p.A. in February, expects to begin marketing Pirelli products in North America by mid-May, Mr. Rooney said.
Higher unit sales and revenue from acquired companies, primarly Allibert Equipment, boosted Akron-based Myers to record results.
Sales for the parent company of Myers Tire Supply and Patch Rubber Co. rose 43.7 percent to $126.8 million. Net income increased 18.3 percent to $8.3 million.
Excluding acquisitions, sales would have risen 8 percent.
Titan continued to feel the effects of labor strikes at its Des Moines, Iowa, and Natchez, Miss., tire plants during the quarter, as sales and profits fell substantially.
Sales for the Quincy, Ill.-based company slid 15.4 percent to $158.6 million. Profits tumbled to $128,000 from $8.3 million.
Shutdowns at several large customers also impacted earnings, said Titan CEO Maurice Taylor Jr.
Still, Mr. Taylor was pleased with the results compared with 1998's fourth quarter, when the company lost $5.34 million.
``Titan's determination in facing these challenges is demonstrated by the fact we were able to offset the lower sales volume and labor issues, resulting in a profitable quarter,'' he said.
Treadco's sales grew 9.2 percent to $40.9 million in the quarter as the company reported higher sales in all segments of the business.
The growth in revenue, however, was not enough to pull the company into the black. For the period, Treadco lost $482,444 vs. $627,466 a year ago.
The 1999 quarter loss was impacted by one-time charges totaling $310,000 associated with the $9-a-share tender offer by Arkansas Best Corp..
During the period, Fort Smith, Ark.-based Treadco posted a 4 percent rise in retread sales to $16.1 million and a 10.8-percent jump in new-tire sales to $20.3 million. Revenues from service grew 22.9 percent to $4.6 million.