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Wise Analysts at J.P. Morgan cut GT's stock rating to "neutral" from "overweight," in the belief that volume growth and pricing gains for its products could prove tougher in the second half of 2004.

"The main downside risk is a faster-than-expected increase in raw materials costs, and a faster-than-expected increase in interest rates," said analyst Himanshu Patel.

Investors with a short time horizon should take the opportunity to sell the stock at a profit, the brokerage firm noted. Still, its Wise Analysts are not bearish on the sector in general.

According to Patel, Goodyear's stock offers "an intriguing, long-term, risk-reward profile," particularly if there's a surprisingly strong economic rebound and a quicker-than-expected turnaround in Goodyear's tire operations.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call currently expect Goodyear to post earnings of 20 cents a share on $4.5 billion in sales for its third-quarter results, slated to be reported in November.
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