AKRON, Ohio -- Goodyear's recovery from a three-year slump continued in the third quarter as it reported improved earnings and record sales for the second straight quarter.
The company had net income of $36.5 million, compared with a net loss of $119.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Goodyear posted record sales of $4.7 billion, a 20.7 percent increase over last year.
The company had a net loss of $12.3 million in the first nine months of 2004, compared with a loss of $372.3 million in the year-ago period. Sales for the period increased 20.8 percent to a record $13.5 billion.
Improved pricing and product mix and higher unit and strong commercial tire sales in almost all of the company's markets led the sales increase in the quarter, the company said. Global tire unit volume grew 3.8 percent to 57.4 million units.
All seven of Goodyear's business units reported higher segment operating income compared with the results recorded in 2003's third quarter, a spokeswoman said. Total operating segment income more than doubled, to $305.1 million.
The company's largest unit, North American Tire, had operating income of $13.5 million, compared with a loss of $13.6 million in the third quarter of 2003.
Sales rose 17 percent to $2.1 billion. Replacement volume increased by less than a percentage point, while shipments to automakers fell 2 percent.
Because of gains made by new Goodyear-brand products and the continued growth of the company's high-performance and truck tire lines, Goodyear raised its share in the consumer aftermarket and commercial original-equipment and replacement markets in the quarter, CEO Robert J. Keegan said.
The company is focusing on high debt and unfunded pension obligations, Keegan said.
Its strategies include refinancing to lengthen debt maturities; possible asset sales to reduce obligations; and seeking increased equity funding to improve the firm's credit profile.