* First-quarter revenue falls 8 pct to $4.47 billion vs est
* Adjusted earnings $0.56/shr vs est. $0.60
* Shares fall as much as 9 pct
(Adds CEO comment, background, details, updates shares)
By Rohit T. K.
April 29 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co
reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as an unusually
severe winter in North America slowed production and kept
customers away from distributors.
The biggest U.S. tire maker's shares fell as much as 9
percent in morning trading on Tuesday.
The harsh winter hit Goodyear because it ships tires only
when automakers book sales, Chief Executive Richard Kramer said
on a conference call with analysts.
U.S. auto sales fell in January and February, before rising
in March, as cold weather and snow kept many consumers away from
Apart from selling to automakers, Goodyear supplies the
Goodyear also said volatile economic conditions in
Venezuela, along with a labor dispute at a plant in the country,
had led to a slight fall in production there.
"While the situation in Venezuela will remain volatile, we
expect our volumes to increase in the second quarter, given the
conclusion of our labor negotiations," Kramer said.
Venezuela accounted for about 2 percent of the company's
revenue in 2013.
Goodyear reported a net loss attributable to shareholders
of$58 million, or 23 cents per share, in the first quarter ended
March 31, compared with a net profit of $26 million, or 10 cents
per share, a year earlier.
Excluding a $132 million charge related to a drop in the
value of the Venezuelan bolivar and other items, Goodyear earned
56 cents per share, missing the average analyst estimate of 60
cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue fell 8 percent to $4.47 billion, falling short
of the average estimate of $4.80 billion. Revenue from North
America - which accounts for more than 40 percent of the
company's total revenue - fell 13 percent.
Unfavorable foreign exchange rates reduced revenue by $126
million in the quarter, mainly due to the weaker bolivar,
Brazilian real and Australian dollar, Chief Financial Officer
Laura Thompson said on the call.
Goodyear, which also makes tires for aircraft and NASCAR
racing cars, said North American sales volume fell 1 percent.
Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear said total tire unit volumes rose
1 percent to 40 million - its slowest growth in three quarters.
French rival Michelin reported lower quarterly
revenue last week, saying weaker prices and emerging market
currencies outweighed sales volume growth.
Michelin also said it faced tough price competition from
Goodyear and Japan's Bridgestone Corp.
The company's shares were down 7.1 percent at $25.21 in
afternoon trading on the Nasdaq. Up to Monday's close, the
shares had risen 14 percent since the start of the year.
(Additional reporting by Mridhula Raghavan; Editing by