Toyota raises profit outlooks as yen weakens

Vroom, vroom.

Toyota on Tuesday raised its full-year outlook, as it posted a 23% jump in net profit for the most recent quarter, buoyed by a favorable shift in foreign exchange rates and strong sales of its sedans and SUVs in North America.

"Our loyal customers in the U.S. have come back to the fold now that we have plenty of inventory on hand," Toyota senior managing officer Takahiro Ijichi said.

For the three months ended in December, Toyota posted a net profit of ¥99.9 billion, up from ¥80.9 billion last year but below a mean estimate of ¥152.81 billion in a survey of analysts compiled by data provider Quick. Revenue rose 9.3% to ¥5.319 trillion in the quarter from ¥4.865 trillion.

Toyota also raised its full year outlook for operating profit at the parent company level — a measure of its exports from Japan and domestic sales — to ¥150 billion, up from a previous forecast of a ¥20 billion loss. That would be the first black ink in five business years-and largely reflects a steep jump in profitability as the yen has backed off swiftly from a record highs against the dollar.

"We've improved our competitiveness to the point we can make a profit even at ¥79 to the dollar on a parent basis," Ijichi said. He added the Japanese currency's decline may allow Toyota to ramp up production of export models that became unprofitable as the yen surged last year.

 Toyota (TM : NYSE : US$98.86), Net Change: 1.03, % Change: 1.05%, Volume: 714,391

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