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thanks for all the feedback on the letter. now that i'm not so busy, i'm going to put up the second version, incorporating my editing, several other folk's editing, and several factual suggestions from srl66, cejhals, and jeeponrock. i hope nobody is upset that i have lifted some very good facts, and occasionally sentences, from them (srl66 was especially helpful - i plundered your notes liberally). note that i did not incorporate ALL suggestions; individuals who wish to use this as a template for their letters can adjust things as they see fit. i'd like to post this, get a second roung of suggestions, and send it off within the week. again, if anyone wants to cut and paste for their letters, feel free and don't mention the fool. ok, here goes v.2:
_______________________________________________________
Samir Gibara
Chairman, President, and CEO
Goodyear Tire
1144 East Market Street
Akron, OH 44316


1/26/00

Dear Mr. Gibara,

As a private investor and shareholder in Goodyear Tire, I have become increasingly alarmed at the performance of your company's stock as of late.

As you are no doubt aware, GT has dropped from a high of $66.75/share to a recent low of $24.50/share. In nearing a 66% drop in share price, GT is now trading at near-book value. As a company that generates over $12 billion in sales, GT's market worth is approaching a mere $4 billion. In an era of unprecedented financial growth and consumer confidence, GT's revenues have either fallen or remained flat for five years. Cost of Goods Sold has risen to 84%, while Accounts Receivable turnover has increased to 72 days. The ratio of cash to long term debt has fallen to .14, and long term debt itself has doubled since 1997.

I realize that some of this devaluation comes in the wake of acquisitions of competing tire manufacturers. However, it is not clear to me how well these companies have been integrated into GT, given your recent fiscal results. Nor is it clear how GT plans to take advantage of its leadership position wihin the global market to become a dominant company in the forthcoming century.

In discussing this situation with my fellow investors, several unpleasant rumors have appeared. It is unclear as to how well GT is managing its inventory. It is unclear as to how dim the upcoming quarterly report slated for February will be, and to what extent it will represent a turnaround in the company's destiny. It is unclear, based on recent dealer meetings, that GT has a clear vision for the future. It is unclear that GT has an adequate plan for integrating its aquisitions. It is unclear how GT plans to recapture its value in today's demanding market. Finally, it is unclear that GT's management has whatsoever prioritized the generation of shareholder value.

Several of my fellow investors fear that this situation will only improve if GT is either bought out, or if there is a major corporate restructuring, including radical change in senior management.

So I respectfully ask you, Mr. Gibara, what are your plans for turning this company around? Where is the revenue stream that will both pay off GT's staggering debt AND increase cash flow? I and many other investors, both large and small, private and professional, are patiently waiting for an answer.

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully yours,
_______________________________________________________

well, that's that. i eagerly await you feedback.

fred
"caveman2"
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