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Cooper posts loss in fourth quarter

Paying more for raw materials and selling fewer tires, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. had a $42 million loss in the October-December quarter, the company reported today. Cooper earned $69 million profit a year earlier.
Last quarter’s loss translated to 82 cents per diluted share.
Sales declined 3.4 percent from a year earlier to $757 million.
For the entire 2017 year, Cooper Tire’s profit declined over 61 percent to $95 million. Earnings for 2017 amounted to $1.81 per diluted share.
Sales decreased 2.4 percent from the previous year to $2.85 billion.
Cooper Tire has already begun work on improving performance, adding sales channels including e-commerce and car dealerships, original equipment (OE) manufacturers in Asia and Europe; speeding up launches of new products and updates of existing ones, said Brad Hughes, president and chief executive officer.
It also eliminated 80 U.S. salaried positions, including 60 in Findlay in December.
“We expect results to improve as our initiatives begin to take hold,” and as economic conditions favoring the tire industry occur, Hughes said. Among those could be a slowdown in purchases of new vehicles, which can prompt people postponing those purchases to buy replacement tires for their older vehicles, he said.

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