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Goodyear posts $58M 1st-qtr loss weighed down by charges related to Venezuela

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AKRON, Ohio - Goodyear reported a $58 million loss for the first quarter largely due to Venezuelan currency charges.

The loss was compounded by the extreme winter weather across the U.S. that hurt tire sales, the company said.

The Akron, Ohio, tire maker's losses added up to 23 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31. It made $26 million, or 10 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

After one-time charges, including $132 million in charges related to the situation in Venezuela, Goodyear earned 56 cents per share.

Its adjusted earnings still were below Wall Street estimates, and Goodyear shares fell 5 per cent, to $25.94 in early trading Tuesday.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected 60 cents per share for the quarter.

Revenue dropped 8 per cent to $4.47 billion from $4.85 billion, just short of projections for revenue of $4.81 billion according to FactSet.

"We delivered solid performance in our developed markets, led by North America, which reported a 23 per cent increase in earnings. Growth in North America and Europe offset headwinds in emerging markets where we continue to navigate foreign currency and economic challenges," said Chairman and CEO Richard Kramer.

Revenue in North America fell 13 per cent to $1.9 billion for the quarter despite a 23 per cent jump in earnings, to $156 million.

The overall number of tires sold in North America edged lower to 14.6 million, from 14.8 million, because of the rough winter, the company said.

Kramer said the company remains confident in its full-year outlook despite labour and economic trouble in Venezuela.

The company expects 2 per cent to 3 per cent in volume growth for the year.

Shares of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. have been on a steady rise over the past year and hit a 52-week high of $28.48 last week amid declining raw material prices.

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