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Toyota (TM) Rises as Second-Quarter Profit Jumps

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Toyota (TM) jumped before the bell Wednesday after posting a 70% net profit increase to 438.4 billion yen ($4.4 billion) in the three months to September. The Japanese carmaker said increased profitability was a result of weaker currency and conservative spending. Increases in North and South American volume, up 12.2% and 8.7%, respectively, also helped to drive profits higher.

"In addition to the impact of the weaker yen, operating income increased due to our efforts with our suppliers and distributors for profit improvement through cost reduction and marketing activities, such as enhancement of the model mix," said Executive Vice President Nobuyori Kodaira in a statement.

Toyota upwardly revised its profit forecast for the financial year ended March 2014 by 13% to 1.67 trillion yen ($16.95 billion), closing in on its record 1.72 trillion yen that was set before the financial crisis. The forecast is 120 billion yen shy of the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

For the six months to September, the carmaker reported vehicle sales of 4.47 million units, 1.1% lower than a year earlier. Revenue rose 14.9% to 12.53 trillion yen ($127 billion). The company maintained its volume forecast of 9.1 million units by the end of the fiscal year.

Last week, rival Japanese carmakers Nissan and Honda (HMC) reported net profit growth of 2% and 46%, respectively, in comparison to Toyota's 70% gain.

In premarket trading, Toyota shares have jumped 1.1% to $130.06, adding to the 38% gain achieved over the year.

TheStreet Ratings team rates TOYOTA MOTOR CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate TOYOTA MOTOR CORP (TM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

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