(Adds analyst comment, outlook, share movement)
By Deepa Seetharaman
Feb 13 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, one of
the world's largest tire companies, posted a
higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday and said
it had fully funded its hourly U.S. pension plan, sending its
shares up as much as 7.6 percent.
The profit beat came even as revenue slumped 5 percent and
missed Wall Street expectations. Goodyear also confirmed its
outlook for 2014 through 2016.
Goodyear funded its U.S. plan with $1.15 billion in cash.
The company added that it had started to freeze its pension plan
and adopt a more conservative investment strategy.
"The bigger story is that strong Q4 cash flow allowed
Goodyear to fully fund the hourly pension entirely with cash,
with no mix of debt as was widely expected," Citi analyst Itay
Michaeli said in a research note.
Goodyear shares were up 6.7 percent at $25.80 in morning
trading after rising as high as $25.995 earlier in the session.
Thursday marked the largest one-day change for the stock since
July 30, when it rose almost 9 percent.
The company posted net income available to common
shareholders of $228 million, or 84 cents per share, for the
fourth quarter, up from breakeven a year ago.
Excluding one-time items, the profit was 74 cents per share.
The analysts' average estimate was about 62 cents, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 5 percent to $4.79 billion and missed analysts'
expectations of $4.95 billion, hurt by lower third-party
chemical sales in North America and a $102 million hit in
unfavorable foreign currency translations.
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman in Detroit; Editing by Jeffrey
Benkoe and Lisa Von Ahn)