Nissan’s Outlook Beats Honda, Toyota

It looks like 2012 could be a banner year for Nissan Motor Co. According to a report by Reuters, the car maker says it sees its profits for the year besting those of rival Japanese auto companies Honda Motor Company (NYSE:HMC) and Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM).

Nissan forecasted a net profit of 290 billion yen ($3.77 billion) for the year to end-March, beating Honda’s 215 billion yen outlook and Toyota’s forecast for 200 billion yen, said Reuters. The rosy forecast is due to record sales in 2011 and healthy quarterly operating profit boosted by market share that improved in every major region.

Investrust CEO Hiroyuki Fukunaga said that although the results were good, he isn’t convinced Nissan’s share price will rise by much, said the report. “The upward (forecast) revision from Toyota led to hopes for the next financial year, but Nissan seems like it’s going at cruising speed,” he said.

Nissan’s global auto sales grew by 14 percent last year to 4.67 million vehicles even though the company did not introduce many new models. The goal of CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is also at the helm at partner Renault SA, is to reach the scale he believes major car companies should have to invest in future technologies.

Nissan’s sales for the quarter were up 19.5 percent to more than 1.2 million vehicles, which advanced revenue 11 percent to 2.33 trillion yen.¬†October-December operating profit grew 3.6 percent to 118.1 billion yen ($1.54 billion), which is a bit less than the average estimate of 122.6 billion yen from 10 analysts surveyed by Reuters. Net profit rose 3.2 percent to 82.67 billion yen.


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