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Moody's reduces Goodyear's credit rating

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Moody's Investors Service lowered Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s credit rating from Ba2 to Ba1 last week, a one-level drop.

"Goodyear has initiated actions to increase our market share, improve average selling prices and reduce our costs in 2003," Goodyear officials said in response.

"Our plan involves revitalizing our North American consumer replacement tire business, building on the strong improvements we have made in other operations, and restoring our revenue and earnings growth momentum.

"Based on these and other actions, and with the continued suppport of our key constituencies, we will have adequate financial resources to meet our obligations."

Last month, Standard & Poor's Corp. reduced its rating on Goodyear's long-term debt by two levels.

"The year 2003 clearly will be a transition year for Goodyear," said Goodyear President Bob Keegan at the time, "as we take the steps necessary to properly position the company strategically, operationally and financially for long-term strength and success.

"We believe that these steps will result, over time, in a restoration of our credit ratings to investment-grade levels."

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