COMPANY BACKGROUND By 1998, Goodyear had a debt of $3.7 billion dollars. From 1995-1998 Goodyear’s principal business was development, distribution, and sales of times for most applications. Goodyear was a multi-product, diversified conglomerate and its’ approach to becoming a global company was having only one single global strategy, instead of tailoring products and distribution to each national market.
OVERVIEW OF STRENGTHS Size still matters and Goodyear has size. Its 1999 sales were $12,881,000,000 representing a one-year sales growth of 2%. Its net income was $241,000,000, a lot of money but a decrease of 64.7% from one year earlier. Despite that drop in net income, Goodyear paid a $.30 dividend. Its net income also beat Wall Street’s expectations. It has become the world leader in tire sales as a result of its alliance with Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries. Goodyear ranks No. 130 in Fortune Magazine’s 500 list of large companies. Its product diversity includes the manufacture and sale of tires, industrial and consumer products from rubber including belts, hoses, and tank tracks, and a wide range of synthetic rubber, resins, and organic chemicals. Goodyear supplies tires to European and North American auto manufacturers and construction and agricultural equipment manufacturers and operates more than 900 retail tire outlets that also provide auto repair services. Like many American manufacturers, though, it has extended its reach to include international markets in order to stay ahead of its competition. It has more than 90 facilities in 30 countries, and world-wide marketing operations.
Two attributes that any company desires are brand recognition and brand loyalty. Goodyear enjoys both. Its’ blimps are one of the world’s most recognized advertising symbols. In 1999, it ranked No. 1 in six of eight categories to lead its industry in Fortune’s “Most Admired List”. Leadership categories included quality, innovativeness, employee talent, social responsibility, financial soundness, and long-term investment. Of these, quality is probably the most important in creating and keeping brand loyalty. Its P/E ratio is 15.95, a very conservative number when compared to Internet stocks, which frequently have P/E ratios of 50 or more. The industry (rubber/plastics) P/E ratio is 13.65 while the broad market (8,000 stocks traded on the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ, has a P/E of 39.46. Another strength is its intangibles, which include a 100,000-person workforce, patents and trademarks. Goodyear owns 2,903 patents and five trademarks (Goodyear, Hi-Miler, Viper, Vintner, and Allegra).
OVERVIEW OF WEAKNESSES In 1999, Goodyear’s sales were down from 1998 in Eastern Europe, Africa Middle East market, Latin America market, Engineered Products market, and Chemical Products market.