FINDLAY, Ohio (March 31, 2003) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has revised downward by as much as 32 percent its first quarter earnings expectations, indicating that net income would likely be in the range of 17-21 cents per share vs. the current analyst consensus of 25 cents per share.
Thomas A. Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO, attributed the lower expectations to continuing weakness in the North American replacement tire market.
"Replacement tire demand remains very soft, product mix has been weak and raw material costs have been even higher than we expected,” Mr. Dattilo said in a prepared statement. “On the other hand, our automotive group operations have performed as expected, with sales exceeding last year´s first quarter."
Cooper expects to release its first quarter results on April 17 before the market opens.