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Goodyear vs. Titan: And the 2011 winner is...

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When comparing stock price performance, which company had the better year in 2011? Was it Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which had three profitable quarters (with another expected in the fourth quarter)?

Or was it Titan International Inc., which had record sales but up-and-down profits?

It all depends on how you spin the numbers. Titan finished the year with a stock price more than $5 a share higher: $19.46 to $14.17. Its chairman and CEO, Morry Taylor, also has forecast a strong 2012 for the company.

However, Goodyear's stock price was much steadier over the course of the year and is trending upward. It is almost 20% higher than it was at the beginning of 2011.

Ironically, some of the credit for Titan's stock performance has to go to Goodyear. Titan has exclusive rights to the Goodyear farm tire brand, and purchased Goodyear's Union City, Tenn., plant, late in the year.

The companies represent two of the three major United States-based tire manufacturers traded publicly. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is the other. Here is a snapshot of their respective stock price performances in 2011.

Titan

Dec. 30, 2011: $19.46.

June 30, 2011: $24.26.

Dec. 31, 2010: 19.54.

High: $31.20 on May 3.

Low: $13.83 on Oct. 3.

Goodyear

Dec. 30, 2011: $14.17

June 30, 2011: $16.77.

Dec. 31, 2010: $11.85.

High: $18.72 on May 10.

Low: $9.39 on Sept. 22.

Cooper

Dec. 30, 2011: $14.01.

June 30, 2011: $19.79.

Dec. 31, 2010: $23.58.

High: $26.98 on Apr. 29.

Low: $10.02 on Sept. 22.

Titan's stock price is more than double what it was two years ago. On Dec. 31, 2009, Titan's stock price closed at $8.11 a share. Goodyear's and Cooper's stock prices closed at $14.10 and $20.05, respectively.

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