AKRON—As the accompanying chart shows, 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 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 stock market's choppy condition during 2000's second half and money flowing out of the growth-oriented NASDAQ, 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 Inc. 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 Cos., up 19.3 percent. The stock of Japanese tire makers Ohtsu Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. also increased in price during the year.
Hammered by the greatest percent decrease among the group was China Tire Holdings Ltd., whose shares ended the year down 75.8 percent from its 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 Tyres P.L.C., down 52.7 percent; Titan International Inc., 34.6 percent; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., 31.4 percent; Pacific Dunlop Ltd., 30.6 percent; and Goodyear, 18.5 percent. Shares of Continental A.G., TBC Corp. and Myers Industries Inc. declined in price to a lesser extent.