Toyota Optimistic for 2012

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) has put its troubles behind and ramped up its earnings forecast for fiscal 2012 by 11 percent, due primarily to a slew of new models expected to boost worldwide revenues, and a resurgence of demand in the domestic Japanese market owing to government waivers and rebates on low emission vehicles.

Born-again Toyota is looking ahead to regaining market share in key markets such as the U.S. after overcoming the troubles it faced in 2011 on account of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, floods in Thailand and a very strong appreciation in the yen, and has plans to introduce 19 new models in the U.S.

The company expects to post a net income of 200 billion yen ($2.6 billion) for 2012 whereas analysts are more optimistic, projecting 285.4 billion yen. It expects to sell 7.41 million vehicles during the year. The company’s projections take heart from the fact that in January, in the U.S., sales jumped 7.5 percent, and at home in Japan, sales were up a thumping 46 percent. For the third quarter ended December 31, Toyota’s net income was down 14 percent to 80.9 billion yen, though sales rose 4.1 percent to 4.87 trillion yen.

These estimates may actually turn out even rosier – according to Yuuki Sakurai, chief executive officer at Fukoku Capital Management Inc. in Tokyo, “their new forecast only reflects the sales boost they’re expecting from Japan, so I think we can expect a little more.”

Other Car Makers are Set for a Watermark in 2012

In addition to Toyota’s good news, general auto sales reached a four-year high in January with 14.18 million vehicles sold. January sales jumped 11 percent from the previous year. Car companies seeing strong gains included Ford (NYSE:F) (7.3 percent), Toyota (7.5 percent), Honda (NYSE:HMC) (8.8 percent) and Chrysler (44 percent). GM’s (NYSE:GM) reported a sales decline of 6.1 percent. Its Volt sales dropped in half.

Here’s how the leading automaker stocks are reacting to Toyota’s earnings:

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): TM shares recently traded at $79.42, up $1.71, or 2.2%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $60.37 to $93.90. Volume today was 842,294 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 519,348 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 47.60, while trailing earnings are $1.67 per share.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): F shares recently traded at $12.90, down $0.06, or 0.46%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $9.05 to $16.51. Volume today was 27,926,133 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 53,892,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 7.73, while trailing earnings are $1.67 per share.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC): HMC shares recently traded at $36.08, up $0.22, or 0.61%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $27.52 to $44.56. Volume today was 407,714 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 658,981 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 27.01, while trailing earnings are $1.34 per share.

General Motors Corporation (NYSE:GM): GM shares recently traded at $26.26, down $0.44, or 1.65%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $19.00 to $37.05. Volume today was 7,912,439 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 11,684,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 5.74, while trailing earnings are $4.57 per share.

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