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Most tire stocks suffer mightily in 2008

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It was a brutal year for tire manufacturers trading public stocks. All 18 stocks www.modertiredealer.com regularly follows finished less valuable (in United States dollars) than they started.

In addition, all 18 stock prices finished lower than they started at the end of the third quarter of 2008.

The stock that dropped the least, making it a "winner" of sorts, was traded by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. Sumitomo’s stock price dropped only 5.9% from the beginning of the year, and only 3% since Sept. 30, 2008.

Here are the losses in 2008, with the Sept. 30, 2008, prices in parentheses. Nexen Tire Corp. is not included because it announced a 10-for-1 stock split on March 14, 2008.

Entering 2008, Nexen's stock was trading at $43.19. From June 30 to Dec. 31, Nexen's stock price dropped 39.8%, from $2.66 to $1.60. (On Sept. 30, the stock was trading for $1.91 a share.)

* Bridgestone Corp.: down 17%, from $17.71 to $ 14.61 (3Q: $18.47);

* Continental AG: down 69.3%, from $129.37 to $39.68 (3Q: $82.12);

* Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.: down 62.8%, from $16.58 to $6.16 (3Q: $8.60);

* Federal Tire Corp.: down 28%, from $.50 to $.32 (3Q: $.36);

* Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.: down 78.8%, from $28.22 to $5.97 (3Q: $15.31);

* Groupe Michelin: down 55.2%, from $116.79 to $52.29 (3Q: $63.41);

* Hankook Tire Co. Ltd.: down 36.5%, from $19.11 to $12.12 (3Q: $13.75);

* Kenda Rubber Industrial Corp. Ltd.: down 10.4%, from $.48 to $.43 (3Q: $.45);

* Kumho Tire Co.: down 76.2%, from $14.94 to $3.55 (3Q: $6.29);

* Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd.: down 50%, from $.84 to $.42 (3Q: $.72);

* Nokian Tyres plc: down 68.5%, from $35.06 to $11.01 (3Q: $23.21);

* Pirelli & Cie SpA: down 66.6%, from $1.08 to $.36 (3Q: $.59);

* Stamford Tyres International Pte Ltd.: down 47.8%, from $.23 to $.12 (3Q: $.17);

* Sumitomo Rubber: down 5.9%, from $8.90 to $8.37 (3Q: $8.63);

* Titan International Inc.: down 73.6%, from $31.26 to $8.25 (3Q: $21.32);

* Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.: down 52%, from $3.71 to $1.78 (3Q: $2.72);

* Yokohama Rubber Co.: down 19.4%, from $6.07 to $ 4.89 (3Q: $5.35).

Exchange rates versus the U.S. dollar from Dec. 31, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2008, were as follows:

1. Euro: .6794 to .7184.

2. Taiwanese dollar: 32.52 to 32.76.

3. Won: 936.53 to 1262.

4. Yen: 112.35 to 90.79.

5. Singapore dollar: 1.4467 to 1.4377.

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