Cooper Tire Stock Upgraded
KeyBanc’s Saul Ludwig has upgraded Cooper to “Buy” from “Hold” and increased his 2007 earnings prediction for the company. The Associated Press quote Ludwig as saying: “Following seven money-losing quarters, the pendulum is about to swing in a positive direction, in our opinion.”
He continued: “We do not underestimate the challenges Cooper still faces and while we are much more sanguine about its prospects for the next two years, it must address its production footprint before there is more serious encroachment on the U.S. market by low-cost imports.”
“Customers like TBC, Del-Nat, Hercules, Pep Boys, American Car Care, Treadways and Schwab will want to buy some (or in some cases, nearly all) of their tyres from domestic sources, and Cooper is becoming the premier supplier of those products,” Ludwig said.
“It may sound strange, but Cooper might just emerge from this transformation with better pricing power than existed when all the other manufacturers were active competitors in the private brand arena. Cooper could win by default!”
The analyst added that Cooper’s fourth-quarter results could also be better than expected, as a result of the United Steelworkers strike at rival Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.