Nissan Q1 profit down 10 pct as quake hits output

Reuters

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co <7201.T> reported a 10 percent fall in quarterly operating profit on Wednesday as a shortage of parts after the March 11 earthquake peaked during the quarter and slashed vehicle production.

Japan's second-biggest automaker posted an operating profit of 150.37 billion yen ($1.93 billion) for the April-June period, much better than the average 70 billion yen estimated by eight analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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Net profit was 85.0 billion yen, down 20 percent from 106.6 billion yen in the year-earlier first quarter.

Nissan, held 43 percent by Renault SA <RENA.PA>, is poised to outshine Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> and Honda Motor Co <7267.T> this year thanks to a relatively swift recovery from the supply disruption and an aggressive expansion in China.

Nissan kept its forecasts for operating profit at 460 billion yen and net profit at 270 billion yen for the full year to March 2012, below consensus forecasts.

Nissan is the best-performing Japanese auto stock so far this year, gaining 10 percent. Tokyo's transport sector subindex <.ITEQP.T> has risen 1.6 percent. ($1 = 78.070 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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