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Goodyear Boasts Strong Earnings

July 27, 1987

AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said Monday its second-quarter profit rose 30.6 percent in spite of high interest payments on debt it acquired in fending off Sir James Goldsmith’s hostile takeover attempt last year.

Goodyear earned $141 million, or $2.47 a share, up from $108 million, or 99 cents a share, earned in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 9.1 percent to a record $2.60 billion from $2.39 billion a year earlier.

The 1987 quarter included a pre-tax gain of $24 million on sale of facilities. The 1986 quarter included $10 million in profits from since- discontinued operations.

Goodyear last year committed about $2.6 billion to buy back 53 million outstanding shares, including Goldsmith’s 11.5 percent stake in the company. Focusing on developing its tire businesses, the company began selling off other assets, including its aerospace-defense business.

″The company’s strong showing at the year’s halfway point, combined with our strategy of improving productivity, has allowed us to put our debt reduction efforts ahead of schedule,″ Chairman Robert E. Mercer said in a statement.

Earnings in the first half amounted to $425.2 million, or $6.63 a share, including $199.2 million from discontinued operations. In the first half of 1986, Goodyear earned $54.6 million, or 50 cents a share, including $20.6 million from discontinued operations. First-half revenue was up 10.3 percent to $4.94 billion from $4.48 billion.

In the 1986 first quarter, the company took a $110.8 million after-tax writedown of oil and gas reserves. First-half 1987 unusual gains totaled $13.6 million.

Operating income from tires and related transportation products was up 58 percent in the quarter and 82.9 percent in the half.

Mercer said the strong showing and an emphasis on productivity is ″laying the foundation for continued growth.″

Also Monday, Goodyear announced the sale of all its Celeron Corp. subsidiary oil and gas reserves east of the Rocky Mountains for about $70 million. That sale is part of Goodyear’s strategy to divest non-core businesses. The company has been trying to sell its Celeron subsidiary since last year.

IP Petroleum Co., a unit of International Paper Co., reached agreement June 4 to purchase about 6 1/2 percent of Celeron’s total reserves.

Goodyear spokesman Hank Ruppel said the company has changed its original plan to sell all of Celeron at once. The company has yet to announce a buyer for most of the reserves of the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based subsidiary, which also controls a pipeline running from southern California to west Texas.

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