If you are anywhere in the Midwest today, you are likely peering out your window at a very ugly scene. Snow on top of freezing rain on top of sleet makes for a treacherous terrain, particularly as the afternoon commute approaches.
Driving in winter weather is probably my worst (rational) fear. Let me take you back to the spring of 1993, when the so-called "Storm of the Century"
(seriously, check out the link) tore through the Southeast. I was a college freshman traveling in the back seat of a Ford Fiesta on an eight-hour trip from my school in Charlottesville, Virginia, to my parents' home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The car I was in spun out on the highway and rolled, several times, off the side of the road. Everyone was okay and good Samaritans quickly rushed to our rescue.
Fast-forward four days, one closed Interstate, the cheapest of hotel rooms (which we were lucky to get) and one harrowing drive for my Dad, and I arrived in Chattanooga. Ever since then, I've felt as though I was living on borrowed time, and I avoid winter weather as much as possible. Good thing I'm able to telecommute.
Today I set out for an appointment 10 minutes away, thinking it might be feasible. With none of my local roads plowed, my journey was very slow going. When the trek seemed pretty perilous, even at 10 miles an hour, I turned around. This move, also, was no easy feat. I'm nestled back home now, several deep sighs later, but I can't feel truly at ease until my husband gets home in a few hours.
This lengthy anecdote is merely the backdrop that got me thinking about tires, and how thankful I was to have some reliable ones on my little Volvo, now a branch of Ford Motor (NYSE:F
). Goodyear Tire & Rubber (NYSE:GT
), based in good ole Akron, Ohio, is the number-three tire maker in the world, and the only one available on the New York Stock Exchange. The equity's weekly chart is a pleasure to behold; GT has more than doubled in value since late July and is perched in territory not seen since early 2002.
GT is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter earnings on Friday ahead of the open. Analysts are targeting per-share results of 26 cents, according to Zacks
, representing an eight-cents-per-share improvement over year-ago results. A pleasant surprise in the earnings confessional could leave GT investors as pleased with their stock holding as they are with their winter-weather-ready wheels. Beth Gaston Moon is an analyst with Schaeffer's Investment Research. Schaeffer's currently has an open call recommendation on GT in one of its real-time alert services.
Also check out some other earnings reports that we're following, and let us know what you're expecting.