CLEVELAND – Strong fourth-quarter results in Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s core North American market helped the tire maker beat Wall Street estimates Thursday.
With car sales increasing, the number of tires sold to auto makers in North America rose 7 percent in the fourth quarter over the same period in 2012.
Replacement tire shipments increased 1 percent.
The number of tires sold worldwide increased 2 percent to 40.7 million.
Goodyear, which owns the Dunlop tire plant in the Town of Tonawanda, also announced it fully funded its hourly pension fund with a $1.15 billion cash payment, ending more than a decade of dealing with the issue.
The Akron-based company said it earned $228 million, or 84 cents per share, on sales of $4.8 billion. After one-time charges, Goodyear earned 74 cents, beating the Wall Street estimate of 65 cents.
Revenue missed the estimate of $4.98 billion and was off 5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012, hurt by lower third-party chemical sales in North America and foreign currency issues.
The company had broken even on sales of $5 billion in the last quarter of 2012.
In the most recent quarter, Goodyear’s North American segment operating income rose 72 percent to $199 million.
For the full year, Goodyear earned $600 million, or $2.28 per share, on sales of $19.5 billion, up from 2012 earnings of $183 million, or 74 cents per share, on sales of $20.9 billion.
With a new labor agreement, Goodyear said it has halted production at an Amiens, France, factory with a contentious past and will close it by March.
Goodyear’s stock surged $2.77, or 11.5 percent, to close at $26.94, its highest level in almost six years.