Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. reported sharply improved global sales Wednesday but charges led by a Venezuelan currency devaluation dragged it to a loss for the first quarter.
CEO Richard Kramer said as markets around the world improve, the Akron tire maker is seeing the benefits of its actions like launching new products during an economic downturn. Revenue jumped 21 percent.
Its shares rose $1.04, or 7.4 percent to $15.09 in morning trading. Goodyear shares have traded in a 52-week range of $9.63 to $18.84.
Goodyear reported that it lost $47 million, or 19 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31. It lost $333 million, or $1.38 per share, a year ago.
Excluding the currency devaluation and other charges, Goodyear would have earned 18 cents a share. Analysts expected a 2 cent a share loss excluding charges.
Revenue rose to $4.3 billion from $3.6 billion. There were gains in all four of Goodyear's global markets: 42 percent in Asia-Pacific, 25 percent in Latin America, 21 percent in Europe-Middle East-Africa and 15 percent in North America.
The number of tires sold in North America for new vehicles surged 45 percent over the same period in 2009, reflecting increased production and improving sales of big-ticket items including autos.
Kramer, who became president and CEO two weeks ago, said the company was focusing on developing new products, improving earnings in its key North American market and pushing growth in emerging markets.
"I am confident that our focus on these priorities will enable Goodyear to gain from the recovery in industry volumes and help us overcome the challenges before us, specifically higher raw material costs," he said.
Goodyear has more than 57 plants in 23 countries.
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