Titan posts 4Q net loss following $5.3 million charge

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Titan International posted a net loss of $1.3 million on net sales of $105.9 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004. That compares to a net loss of $9.2 million on net sales of $81 million pro forma (adjusted to reflect the April 2004 sale of Titan Europe) for the same period in 2003.

Fourth-quarter gross profit of $13.1 million was 66% higher than in 2003, when Titan recorded a fourth-quarter gross profit of $7.9 million.

A $5.3 million depreciation charge for idled assets marketed for sale was taken in the fourth quarter of last year. The assets include facilities in Greenwood, S.C., and Walcott, Iowa, and equipment in Titan's former tire manufacturing plants in Natchez, Miss., and Brownsville, Texas.

"Titan experienced another remarkable quarter, and we are proud to report a profitable 2004," says CEO and President Morry Taylor. "The operating results for the year show Titan's employees worked hard to return the company to profitability when presented with increased demand in the agricultural and construction markets.

"Although it's been a bumpy ride, we will not forget to maintain focus on reducing costs and further enhancing efficiencies. Many of our customers are predicting another strong year in 2005."

For the year, Titan posted net income of $11.1 million on net sales of $510.6 million. That compares favorably with 2003, when Titan announced a net loss of $36.6 million.

Titan's stock on the New York Stock Exchange closed at $13.52 today, Feb. 24. That compares to a 52-week high and low of $15.77 and $4.20, respectively.

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