Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has reported first-quarter 2019 net income of $7 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.14, compared with $8 million, or $0.16 per share, last year.
First Quarter Highlights
• Net sales increased 2.9 percent to $619 million.
• Consolidated unit volume decreased by 0.7 percent compared to the first quarter of 2018.
• Operating profit was $26 million, or 4.3 percent of net sales, despite $10 million in costs related to tariffs enacted in the quarter on truck and bus radial (TBR) tires imported into the United States from China and $5 million of restructuring charges in Europe.
“Operating profit in the first quarter was higher than we expected due to stronger than anticipated performance in North America and Asia,” said Cooper president and CEO Brad Hughes. “Our Americas segment delivered an operating profit of $39 million, up $8 million from year ago, despite the $10 million impact of new TBR tariffs in the period this year. For the third consecutive quarter, we achieved unit volume growth in the U.S. In Asia, our business performed better than expected in what continues to be a challenging economic environment. In fact, third-party sales were up year over year in the region, but this was more than offset by lower intercompany shipments from China to North America.
First quarter net sales were $619 million, an increase of 2.9 percent, compared with $601 million in the first quarter of 2018, according to the report. Net sales included $24 million of favorable price and mix, which was partially offset by $4 million of lower unit volume and $2 million of unfavorable foreign currency impact.
Americas Tire Operations
First quarter net sales in the Americas segment increased 6.1 percent as a result of $31 million of favorable price and mix, which was partially offset by $1 million of unfavorable foreign currency impact, according to the report.
Cooper’s first quarter total light vehicle tire shipments in the U.S. increased by 1.1 percent. The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) reported that its member shipments of light vehicle tires in the U.S. were up 2.2 percent. Total industry shipments (including an estimate for non-USTMA members) increased 5.6 percent for the period.
First quarter operating profit was $39 million, or 7.5 percent of net sales, compared with $31 million, or 6.4 percent of net sales, in 2018.