AKRON (Jan. 11, 2001)—2000 was not a year of growth for most industry-related stocks appearing in Tire Business´ monthly price listings.
Eleven of those 19 stocks finished the year selling for less than their 1999 year-end closing price. As a whole, the 19 listed securities closed Dec. 29 off by an overall average of 7.3 percent from than their ´99 price levels.
Among the eight gainers on the list, Bandag common and class A shares chalked up the two largest percentage increases—a whopping 62.2 percent in the case of Bandag common and 57.7 percent for the company´s class A shares.
Securities analyst Jeff Medford, of William Blair & Co., Chicago, said he believes Bandag´s shares benefited from renewed investor interest in what he called "value" securities.
With the choppy condition of stock market during the last six months of 2000 and money flowing out of the growth-oriented NASDAQ, he said, investors were looking for "safe havens" like Bandag which have a record of providing strong dividends.
Like much of the tire industry in general, the Muscatine, Iowa-based franchiser of retreading systems and materials and its Tire Distribution Systems subsidiary still face a difficult operating environment, he said. However, Bandag appears to have had a positive reversal in earnings.
"The investment spending the company had over the previous two years kind of plateaued and we started seeing a recovery in earnings during 2000," Mr. Medford said.
Other gainers on the list included shares of Pirelli S.p.A. which soared 40 percent in price to close at $3.60 and Carlisle, up 19.3 percent. The stock of Japanese tire makers Ohtsu, Sumitomo Rubber, Toyo Tire and Yokohama Rubber also increased in price during the year.
Hammered by the greatest percent decrease among the group was China Tire whose shares ended the year down 75.8 percent from their 1999 closing price.
Also hard hit was the stock of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp. which fell 53.8 percent, undoubtedly due in no small part to the recall of more than 6.5 million Firestone light truck tires in the U.S.
Other large declines were experienced by the stock of Finnish tire maker Nokian, down 52.7 percent; Titan International, 34.6 percent; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., 31.4 percent; Pacific Dunlop, 30.6 percent; and Goodyear, 18.5 percent. Shares of Continental AG, TBC Corp. and Myers Industries declined in price to a lesser extent.