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What: Shares of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co (NYSE:CTB) were peeling out today, gaining as much as 11%, and finishing up 7% on a strong fourth-quarter earnings report.
So what: The tire maker said sales declined 19%, to $861 million, well ahead of estimates at $774.3 million, while earnings of $0.31 beat the experts' view of $0.26. Cooper delivered its second-highest full-year operating profit in the company's 100-year history, and CEO Roy Armes said the company's performance was "a testament to the resilience of our business model." Profits and sales were down year over year due to a labor standoff at its joint venture in China, an unfavorable sales mix, and higher manufacturing costs; but, with strong beats on top and bottom lines, Cooper rose to the occasion.
Now what: For the current year, management did not provide guidance, but it said it expects first quarter raw material costs to decline 3% and then rise over the long term. Armes also said, "The challenges of 2013 are largely behind us," and that Cooper should see unit volumes recover and grow at a rate equal to or greater than the industry. Analysts are expecting flat revenue, but the company should see some sales growth on higher volumes, which could send shares higher.
Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.