During this past week the following news have been announced from some of the largest companies in the Tire Industry:Michelin announced this week according to the Financial Times, that it had decided to restructure production at its 4 French plants in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Part of the consequence will be a further reduction in the number of employees in France of between 6% and 7%.This is fully consistent with Michelin's previously announced plans to further improve its operating margins to at least 10% - which we know is far in excess of what GT is achieving!Cooper Tire and Rubber (CTB) announced in connection with its Annual Meeting that its Board had authorised an additional repurchase of its shares. This authorisation covers 10 million shares or approximately 13% of the company's outstanding shares.When I earlier this year received a response from GT to one of my letters to Mr. Gibara. The company used as an excuse for it's shares poor porformance, that also CTB's and Michelin's shares had performed poorly.Based on today's closing prices the situation of the three companies shares are as follows:GT: Closed on May 5 at $27.375, down 60% from its 52 week high. Up 34% from its 52 week low.CTB: Closed on May 5 at $13.625, down 45% from its 52 week high. Up 44% from its 52 week low.Michelin: Closed on May 5 at EUR37.90, down 23% from its 52 week low. Up 22% from its 52 week low.If GT's share price should be at the same relative price from its 52 week high it would trade as follows:- relative to CTB (45% down from high): $37/share - up 35% from GT's close May 5th!- relative to Michelin (23% down from high): $51/share - up 50% from GT's close May 5th! I trust all GT shareholders will agree with me, that we could all feel better about our GT investment if GT's management had been able to deliver results for its shareholders as CTB and Michelin has done.I also trust we all can agree that GT's management owe it's shareholders an explanation about why, the financial performance of GT - which has led to the poor performance of the share price - has been so inferior to that of its competitors.Finally, GT's management owe it to its shareholders to specify precisely what it is doing to lift GT's financial performance up to a level compatible with that of its competitors.These are modest demands from shareholders, as GT - being the market leader at the moment - clearly should be delivering superior financial results relative to its competitors. I have sent this post by e-mail to Mr. Gibara for his comments.Anyone reading these pages and wanting to reinforce the message to GT and Mr. Gibara should consider recommending it.Take care.cejhals.
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