Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to post a record half-year profit when it reports its earnings Wednesday, thanks to the weaker yen that boosted the value of Japanese cars sold abroad. According to the average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, Toyota may post a 74-percent surge in net income for the fiscal first half ended Sept. 30 to JPY955.3 billion ($9.7 billion).
The Japanese carmaker is also expected to post JPY444.7 billion in profits in the quarter ended Sept. 30, which exceeds the combined earnings of rivals General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. Greatly boosting Toyota's earning is the yen.
Its depreciation against all major currencies in the past year has provided a lift to Japanese exporters and was able revive an economy that suffered three recessions in five years. Toyota is now on track to become the largest carmaker in the world for the second year in a row.
Yusuke Miura, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities Co., remarked that the weaker yen and cost-cutting efforts are the two major factors in Toyota's domestic profit surge. He remarked that the carmaker will likely remain good if the yen stays at the current level and cost-cutting efforts are executed continuously.
Toyota’s stocks have surged 58 percent this year, outpacing Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Thanks to Abenomics -- named after pioneer Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- the yen has dropped about 12 percent against the dollar in 2013, trading at an average of JPY99 in the previous quarter, reflecting a 20 percent decline year-on-year.
Toyota expects to post JPY1.48 trillion in profits for the year ending March 31, 2014, based on a level of JPY92 to the dollar and JPY122 to the euro. The average estimate of 22 analyst estimates surveyed by Bloomberg, however, places the figure at a record JPY1.82 trillion.
The Japanese carmaker recently unveiled the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Ultimate Edition at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. The FJ Cruiser Ultimate Edition was created to mark the end of this distinctly styled off-roader.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser was launched in 2006 as homage to the classic Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser from the 1960s. More than 200,000 units of the FJ Cruiser were sold in the last seven years. However, its sales have been significantly dropping. In fact in 2012, only 13,656 units were sold.
The new 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Ultimate Edition will only be available in 2,500 examples, featuring a variety of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) parts including an off-road suspension, a beefier front skid plate, Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, as well as 16-inch simulated beadlock wheels shod with off-road BF Goodrich tires.