NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shareholder reaction is mixed after the world's largest automaker, Toyota Motors (TM), reported record earnings. Profits soared 90% to almost $18 billion for fiscal-year 2014, ended March 31. Japan sales added to the company's profit this year. Vehicle sales increased 16% from fiscal 2013.
Despite strong top- and bottom-line numbers from North America, delivering a profit from Japanese sales has been largely allusive for years. Toyota's domestic profitability may be short-lived, though. Last month, Japan raised the national sales tax from 5% to 8% and as a result, the company expects to sell 165,000 fewer cars this year. Drivers wanting to lock in the lower sales tax rate before April helped fuel domestic demand and likely pushed forward some sales that would have happened during fiscal year 2015.
The primary catalyst catapulting profits comes from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe has aggressively stimulated manufacturing and exporting through policies collectively known as Abenomics. As a result of Abenomics, the Japanese Yen has declined almost 20% in the last two years against the dollar.
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