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Cooper chalks up nearly $4 billion in sales

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported net income of $253.5 million on net sales of  $3.9 billion for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2011. That compares to income of $140 million on sales of more than $3.3 billion for fiscal 2010.

The company's income-to-sales ratio was 6.4%, compared to 4.1% the year before. It's operating income was $163 million, down 13.3%.

Cooper's strong fourth-quarter results accounted for most of the year's profit.

The company posted net income of $209 million on net sales of $1 billion for the quarter. That compares to income of $40.2 million on sales of $919.6 million for 4Q 2010.

However, the company benefitted from the release of the valuation allowance on U.S. deferred tax assets. As a result, 4Q net income was increased by $167 million.

Taking what Cooper calls the "one-time, non-cash impact" into account, Cooper would have finished the fourth quarter with a net profit of $42 million, a 4.4% improvement over 4Q 2010.

"During the quarter, we successfully navigated several challenges, resulting in a quarter with more than $1 billion in sales and sequential margin expansion from the third quarter," says CEO Roy Armes.

"Our strengthened product portfolio is continuing to perform very well as we achieved better than market growth in multiple product lines. Focusing on delivering products that meet ever-changing consumer needs should help to balance our exposure to broad-line tires and economic conditions.

"We continue to believe that pent-up demand for broad-line tires exists, although it is difficult to predict exactly when that demand will manifest."

North America Tire Operations

In North America, Cooper achieved net sales of $778 million during the fourth quarter, up 16% from 2010 net sales of $669 million. The increased sales were the result of both stronger price and mix and higher unit sales, according to the company.

Operating profit for the quarter was $35 million, or 4.5% of net sales. This is a decrease of $7 million compared with the same period in 2010.

Overall unit sales for the North American segment increased 4% compared to 4Q 2010. Light vehicle shipments in the United States increased by 4.1% versus a 3.4% decrease in industry shipments as reported by the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

For the full year, net sales in North America totaled $2.9 billion, up nearly 20% from 2010. Shipments of light vehicle tires in the U.S. increased 0.4%, compared with an industry decrease of 2.2%.

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