It was a good start to he year for Goodyear Tire. The Akron-based company reported higher first-quarter earnings over the same time frame in 2012. The biggest jump came here in North America, where Goodyear's earnings went up 59% compared to last year. They still expect revenues for the year to be up about 12% over 2012.
Goodyear Chairman and CEO Rich Kramer discussed the first quarter financials in a conference call with investors and reporters:
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(Goodyear) The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today reported higher earnings for the first quarter of 2013 compared to the year-ago quarter.
“Despite a tough economic environment, we continue to achieve solid earnings improvement,” said Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our first quarter earnings demonstrate that our strategic focus on improving productivity and selling innovative products in targeted market segments where our brands add value is working, especially in North America, where our business continues to outperform expectations.”
Three of Goodyear’s four regional businesses posted higher earnings with North America and Asia Pacific posting record first quarter operating income. Asia Pacific and Latin America achieved both increased tire unit volume and higher operating income.
“In Europe, we are taking steps to address weak industry demand brought about by recessionary conditions that continue to impact the auto and tire industries. We are executing a three-point plan to address profitability in this region,” Kramer added.
“We remain confident in our full-year outlook and continue to expect global segment operating income of $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion in 2013, which would be up more than 12 percent from 2012 and a record,” he said. The company continues to target positive cash flow in 2013, excluding pension pre-funding.
Goodyear’s first quarter 2013 sales were $4.9 billion, compared to $5.5 billion a year ago. First quarter 2013 sales reflect $364 million in lower tire unit volumes; $178 million in lower sales in other tire related businesses, most notably third party chemical sales in North America, and $115 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation. Tire unit volumes totaled 39.5 million, down 8 percent from 2012, primarily reflecting lower volumes in Europe.
The company reported segment operating income of $302 million in the first quarter of 2013. This was up 3 percent from the year-ago quarter, reflecting $230 million in lower raw material costs (before the benefit of cost savings actions) and cost-reduction activities that exceeded inflation, partially offset by $138 million in lower tire volume and associated unabsorbed overhead costs, lower price/mix of $71 million and $17 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation. See the note at the end of this release for further explanation and a segment operating income reconciliation table.
Goodyear’s first quarter 2013 net income available to common shareholders was $26 million (10 cents per share), compared to a net loss of $11 million (5 cents per share) in the 2012 quarter. All per share amounts are diluted.
The 2013 first quarter included a $92 million (37 cents per share) net foreign currency remeasurement loss resulting from the devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar fuerte; $9 million (4 cents per share) in rationalizations, asset write-offs and accelerated depreciation; a loss of $2 million (1 cent per share) from asset sales; and net gains of $12 million (5 cents per share) due primarily to tax law changes and $6 million (2 cents per share) from insurance recoveries related to the impact of the 2011 Thailand flood. All amounts are after taxes and minority interest.
The company’s free cash flow from operations was a use of $276 million for the first quarter of 2013. See the note at the end of this release for further explanation and a free cash flow from operations reconciliation table.
First Quarter Business Segment Results
North American Tire First Quarter
(in millions) 2013 2012
Tire Units 14.8 15.8
Sales $2,166 $2,497
Segment Operating Income $127 $80
Segment Operating Margin 5.9% 3.2%
North America’s first quarter 2013 sales decreased 13 percent from last year to $2.2 billion. Sales reflect a 6 percent decrease in tire unit volume and lower price/mix. Original equipment unit volume was flat. Replacement tire shipments were down 9 percent, reflecting weak industry demand and decreased sales of lower-value consumer tires.
First quarter 2013 segment operating income of $127 million was a 59 percent improvement over the prior year and a first quarter record. Segment operating income was positively impacted by $163 million in lower raw material costs. This was partially offset by $58 million resulting from decreased volume and unabsorbed overhead from related production cuts, $47 million in lower price/mix and $18 million primarily due to lower third party chemical sales.
Europe, Middle East and Africa Tire First Quarter
(in millions) 2013 2012
Tire Units 15.1 18.0
Sales $1,607 $1,938
Segment Operating Income $31 $90
Segment Operating Margin 1.9% 4.6%
Europe, Middle East and Africa’s first quarter sales decreased 17 percent from last year to $1.6 billion. Sales reflect a 16 percent decrease in tire unit volume, primarily due to economic weakness in the region, as well as unfavorable foreign currency translation of $38 million. Original equipment unit volume was down 12 percent. Replacement tire shipments were down 18 percent.
First quarter 2013 segment operating income of $31 million was $59 million below the prior year. Lower raw material costs of $89 million were offset by the $83 million impact of reduced volume and unabsorbed overhead from related production cuts and $62 million in lower price/mix.
Latin American Tire First Quarter
(in millions) 2013 2012
Tire Units 4.5 4.3
Sales $513 $521
Segment Operating Income $60 $55
Segment Operating Margin 11.7% 10.6%
Latin America’s first quarter sales decreased $8 million from last year to $513 million. Sales were negatively impacted by $62 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation and $33 million related to the sale of the bias truck tire business. These were partially offset by a 5 percent increase in tire unit volume and improved price/mix. Original equipment unit volume decreased 5 percent. Replacement tire shipments were up 11 percent.
First quarter segment operating income of $60 million was up 9 percent from a year ago. Price/mix improvements of $45 million benefited segment operating income and lower raw material costs added $4 million. Segment operating income was negatively impacted by higher conversion costs of $33 million, primarily due to cost inflation, and $11 million in unfavorable currency translation.
The devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar fuerte against the U.S. dollar in February 2013 and weak economic conditions in that country negatively impacted segment operating income by approximately $16 million in the first quarter of 2013.
Asia Pacific Tire First Quarter
(in millions) 2013 2012
Tire Units 5.1 4.9
Sales $567 $577
Segment Operating Income $84 $67
Segment Operating Margin 14.8% 11.6%
Asia Pacific’s first quarter sales decreased $10 million from last year to $567 million. Sales were negatively impacted by $15 million in lower sales in other tire-related businesses and $14 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation. Original equipment unit volume was up 5 percent. Replacement tire shipments were up 4 percent.
First quarter segment operating income of $84 million was up 25 percent from last year and a first quarter record. Segment operating income was positively impacted by $31 million in lower raw material costs. It was negatively impacted by $7 million in lower price/mix, $3 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation and the impact of inflation on wages and other costs.
Compared with the year-ago quarter, segment operating income improved by $4 million due to insurance recoveries for costs resulting from flood disruption in Thailand.
Goodyear is now forecasting its 2013 tire unit volumes to be essentially at 2012 levels as a result of weak industry conditions, especially in Europe.
For the full year of 2013 in North America, Goodyear now expects consumer replacement to be at essentially 2012 levels. The company’s full year 2013 outlook in other North American market segments is unchanged. It expects consumer original equipment volumes to be up approximately 5 percent, while commercial replacement and original equipment are both expected to remain at about 2012 levels.
For the full year in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Goodyear now expects consumer replacement to be at essentially 2012 levels. The company’s full year 2013 outlook in other Europe, Middle East and Africa market segments is unchanged. It expects consumer original equipment volumes to be down approximately 5 percent, commercial replacement to be up approximately 5 percent and commercial original equipment to be flat to up 5 percent.
Due to continued weakness in the European economy and to ensure the company’s long-term competitiveness in the region, Goodyear is implementing a three-point plan to return its business to historical margin levels. In addition to its announced exit from the farm tire business in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region and closure of a manufacturing plant in France, over the next three years Goodyear is focusing on 1) increasing its share in targeted market segments, 2) growth in emerging markets and 3) additional productivity improvements across the region totaling $75 million to $100 million.
2013 Financing Action
During the first quarter, Goodyear successfully issued $900 million in 6.5% senior notes due 2021. The net proceeds were used to fully fund the company’s frozen U.S. pension plans. Following this, the company changed its target asset allocation for these plans to a portfolio of fixed income securities designed to offset the future impact of discount rate movements on the plans’ funded status.