(By Balaseshan) Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: CTB) reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by sales growth and lower raw material costs, sending its shares up 6.34 percent in premarket.
Earnings attributable to the replacement tires company increased to $72.94 million or $1.15 per share for the fourth quarter from $32 million or $0.51 per share in the year-ago quarter.
The year-ago quarter excludes the one-time, non-cash impact of $177 million or $2.82 per share due to the release of most of the company's valuation allowance against U.S. deferred tax assets and related expense effects.
[Related -Stocks End Lower Amid Fed Uncertainty; First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) Plunges]
Net sales rose 2 percent to $1.06 billion.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected earnings of $0.85 per share on sales of $1.03 billion.
North America Tire Operations sales increased 5 percent to $811 million, on higher unit volumes as well as higher price and mix. Unit shipments for the North American segment rose 2 percent.
International Tire Operations sales fell 9 percent to $342 million, as higher unit volumes and favorable currency translation were more than offset by lower pricing and mix. Sales volumes in Asia decreased 2 percent on reduced passenger tire exports, while European sales volumes grew 23 percent on incremental volumes from its operation in Serbia and growth in Eastern Europe.
"Third quarter profits were positively impacted by lower raw material costs of $101 million, volume increases totaling $5 million, $2 million in lower product liability costs, and $9 million in manufacturing efficiencies," the company said.
[Related -Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): Bulls Snap Up Weekly Calls On Hewlett-Packard]
Looking ahead for the first quarter, Cooper Tire expects raw material prices to be about the same as the prior quarter.
The company said the long-term outlook for raw material prices will be to generally trend higher. Capital expenditures for 2013 are projected to be between $195 million and $215 million.
CTB ended Friday's regular session at $25.39. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $13.82 and $26.91.