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Feb 17 (Reuters) - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, the largest U.S. tire maker, reported a slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by lower rubber and oil prices.
The company, whose brands include Goodyear, Dunlop, Sava and Fulda, said its cost of sales fell 9 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter of 2013.
Oil prices nearly halved in 2014, while natural rubber prices fell by almost a third and synthetic rubber by about 8 percent. About two-thirds of Goodyear’s raw materials, are based on petrochemicals.
Goodyear, whose shares rose more than 4 percent in early trading, said its net income available to shareholders rose to $2.13 billion, or $7.68 per share, in the quarter, from $228 million, or 84 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding tax benefits and other items, the company earned 59 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 58 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 9 percent to $4.36 billion, falling short of the average analyst estimate of $4.37 billion.
Goodyear shares were trading at $26.80 shortly after the opening bell on Tuesday. Up to Friday’s close, Goodyear’s stock had fallen about 9 percent this year, compared with a 2.4 percent rise in the Dow Jones U.S. auto parts index. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera and Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)