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Goodyear's Good Year

Investors were pleased sending shares up 8.0%, or $2.02, to $27.34 at the close on Thursday. The company posted an 11.0% jump in sales to $5.2 billion, up from $4.6 billion in the prior year, on price increases and more focus on expensive branded tires, which offset weak winter sales in Europe and cut backs in production of private-label tires with lower price tags in North America.

Analysts expected sales of $4.9 billion. The company is undergoing a multi-year restructuring that includes asset sales, plant closings and production shifts to lower-cost regions.

Calyon Securities analyst Mark B. Warnsman said that since Bridgestone/Firestone (other-otc: BRDCY.PK - news - people ), the world's largest tire and rubber manufacturer, recalled 6.5 million tires in August 2000, Americans are much more attuned to how important tires

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