Weaker Yen Boosts Toyota Earnings, Forecast

Paul Ausick

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) reported third-quarter and fiscal year 2015 nine-month results before markets opened on Wednesday. For the quarter ending in December, the company posted consolidated revenues of 7.17 trillion yen (about $67 billion) and diluted earnings per share of 189.77 yen (about $1.77).

For the fiscal year to date, the Japanese automaker reported consolidated revenues of 20.12 trillion yen ($187.9 billion), up 5.2% primarily as a result of a weaker yen. Diluted earnings per share totaled 545.94 yen (about $5.13) for the nine-months from April through December 2014.

Toyota’s fiscal year runs from April through March. Dollars figures are based on an exchange rate of $1 equal to 107 yen.

Global sales are down for the nine-month period from 6.78 million in the year-ago period to 6.73 million vehicles. North American sales rose 7.4% to 2.11 million units, while sales in Japan fell by 7.4% to 1.53 million units. The United States is Toyota’s largest market.

Third-quarter sales fell 2.3% globally and 7.8% in Japan. U.S. sales rose by 7.3% in the quarter. Sales slipped in all other geographic regions.

Toyota cut its sales forecast for the 2015 fiscal year from a prior total of 9.05 million units to 9.00 million units. The forecast for consolidated revenues has been revised higher, to a total of 27 trillion yen (about $247.7 billion). Net income is now forecast to rise to 2.13 trillion yen (about $19.54 billion). The new estimates are based on a currency exchange rate of 109 yen to the dollar, compared with an earlier estimate for an exchange rate of 104 yen per dollar.

Toyota expects to sell 10.15 million vehicles in the current calendar year, about 1% less than it sold in 2014. Volkswagen is widely expected to repeat as the top-selling automaker in the world in 2015, a title it wrestled away from Toyota last year by selling 9.95 million units compared with Toyota sales of 9.83 million units.

Toyota’s shares closed at $131.10 on Tuesday in a 52-week range of $103.38 to $132.42.

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