The record-setting earnings achieved by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT) in 2014 were a big step on its path to long-term growth.
"I am extremely pleased with what our teams accomplished over the past year through their disciplined execution of our strategy," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard J. Kramer said at the company's annual shareholder meeting today. "Our strategy is built to create sustainable value in the marketplace – where tires are bought and sold and where our brand can be differentiated from the competition."
These results, Kramer said, have helped fuel the company's capital allocation plan, which balances investing in the business, paying down debt and returning cash to shareholders. In 2014, Goodyear increased its common stock dividend by 20 percent and delivered almost $300 million to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases.
"We're confident in our strategy, and we are building for long term growth," he said.
"This is a great industry to be in, both now and in the future. We play an indispensable role in people's lives around the world, and we don't see that changing," Kramer added.
"Our industry is thriving, and I'm confident that Goodyear will thrive as well, creating value for customers, consumers and shareholders for the long term."
During the meeting, shareholders re-elected 13 members of the company's Board of Directors to new one-year terms.
Shareholders approved amendments to Goodyear's Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations to reduce the voting standard to remove directors, to eliminate cumulative voting and to reduce the voting standard for certain business combination transactions. They also voted to ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2015. A shareholder proposal regarding simple majority voting was not approved. In an advisory vote, shareholders approved the compensation of the company's named executive officers.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 67,000 people and manufactures its products in 50 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate. GT-FN