FINDLAY, Ohio (Feb. 28, 2014) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported a net loss and 78.5-percent lower operating earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30, as sales slid 24 percent to $832.4 million.
The earnings report was delayed amid the turmoil of the planned merger with India's Apollo Tyres Ltd., which in the fourth quarter had started to unravel.
The net loss for the quarter was $168,000, down from net earnings of $74.1 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Operating profit slid to $27.9 million,
Cooper attributed the lower earnings to costs associated with work stoppages at its Cooper Chengshan Tire joint venture in China, unfavorable pricing and product mix and reduced logistics and manufacturing efficiencies. The net loss included the impact of an 84-percent tax rate, which Cooper said was caused by $8 million in "discrete items."
Cooper experienced sales drops both domestically (down 22.4 percent) and internationally (down 35.7 percent). On a unit shipment basis, Cooper lost ground to the industry in the U.S., as its consumer tire shipments were off roughly 14 percent through nine months, vs. industrywide shipments growth of 6 to 7 percent, Cooper noted.
Cooper's truck tire shipments, which were impacted by the turmoil at Cooper Chengshan, plunged 52 percent in the quarter and 39 percent for the nine months.