Toyota posts loss on stronger yen

toyotaToyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, posted a third straight quarterly loss as car sales in the U.S. and Japan plunged and a stronger yen eroded earnings.

The company had a first-quarter loss of 77.8 billion yen ($818 million), compared with a net profit of 353.7 billion yen a year earlier, the Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker said in a statement today. The automaker was projected to make a 184 billion yen loss based on the median of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda joined Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. in beating earnings expectations as government measures to spur car demand took effect. The U.S., Germany, Japan and China offered consumers credits, tax breaks and subsidies for trading in old cars as the worst slump in decades for the car industry forced Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. into bankruptcy.

“It seems like the worst is over,” said Masayuki Kubota, a senior fund manager in Tokyo at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd., which oversees the equivalent of $37 billion in assets. “Automakers have more fixed costs than other industries and in recessions their performances plunge, but in recoveries they do very well.”

Source: Bloomberg

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