Strong U.S. Sales, Weaker Yen Boost Toyota Earnings


Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled and full-year earnings more than tripled, as the Japanese yen’s depreciation and strong U.S. sales boosted the world’s top-selling automaker.

In the latest quarter, the company recorded a profit of ¥313.9 billion, or $3.17 billion, exceeded a year-ago profit of ¥121 billion, or $1.22 billion. Analysts expected a fourth-quarter profit of ¥258.9 billion.

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Meanwhile, Toyota’s full-year profit soared to ¥962.1 billion, or $9.7 billion, beating estimates of ¥912.57 billion. The results were led by U.S. sales growth of Toyota’s Avalon sedan and Tacoma pickup truck, as well as a weakening yen that depreciated roughly 20% against the dollar since mid-November. A weaker yen allows Toyota to export its vehicles more profitably.

Toyota also said it posted its first full-year profit at the parent company level in five years, as the company rebounds from the impact of natural disasters on Japanese manufacturing.

Overall full-year operating profit was ¥1.32 trillion, or $13.3 billion, surpassing ¥1 trillion for the first time since Toyota posted a record operating profit of ¥2.27 trillion five years ago.

Toyota anticipates strong results to continue in the current year, projecting a ¥1.37 trillion profit in fiscal 2014. Revenue is expected grow 6.5% to ¥23.5 trillion, while the company is looking for a 36.3% jump in operating profit to ¥1.8 trillion. Toyota said its operating profit could climb ¥400 billion just from currency gains, as long as the dollar averages ¥90 and the euro ¥120.

Shares rose 1.77% to $118.14 Wednesday morning.