Earlier this month, when a Deutsche Bank analyst downgraded Goodyear
That belief got a nice reward. Goodyear reports that it expects its fourth quarter to be a rolling success, with net income of between $0.55 and $0.65 a share on record revenue of $4.8 billion, numbers that will trounce analysts' earnings expectations of a measly $0.04 a share. All seven of Goodyear's far-flung business operations should be profitable. The important North American unit will turn in its third consecutive quarter of gains, showing results that should be on par with last quarter and up significantly from 2003's fourth-quarter loss. The European unit is expected to double its operating income, and Latin America's is expected to be up by 50%.
The improving financial picture has allowed Goodyear to raise tire prices right along with those at competitors Cooper Tire & Rubber
Part of the concern over Goodyear had been its high debt, which exceeds $5 billion. Last year, it replaced a $680 million credit facility that matured this year with a $500 million one that matures in 2007. Now it plans to refinance some $3.3 billion in credit facilities coming due over the next year or so with $3.35 billion of five-year facilities due in 2010 but offered at a lower interest rate. It's another example of the firming of the company's foundation.
Yet the company can't seem to issue an earnings report without having to restate a prior one. Goodyear said it will restate last quarter's results after it identifies some "out-of-period adjustments," but the company said the adjustments shouldn't materially affect net income. It's enough to make you wonder just how much faith you can put in the numbers the company is reporting today, even if they're not materially significant.
Moreover, Goodyear hasn't completed its review of Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, and its auditors haven't completed their 2004 audit. I would expect the company to report a few problems with internal control when the audit is complete.
It's true that the improving profit picture this quarter got a boost from some one-time gains, but still, the company has been gaining traction and appears to be on cruise control for its five-year turnaround plan.
For more coverage on Goodyear:
- Goodness Gracious, Goodyear!
- There's No Accounting for Goodyear
- Goodyear, Nice Quarter
- Will Goodyear Have a Good Quarter?
- Oops! Goodyear Did It Again
Fool contributor Rich Duprey is distressed by his continuous one-time gains when he steps on the scale. He owns shares in Goodyear but does not own any of the other stocks mentioned in the article.