Amid a slowdown in the U.S. auto market, Honda Motor Co. on Wednesday reported a surprisingly strong 38% rise in earnings for the October-December period, helped by robust sales of its fuel-efficient cars to China, Europe and North America.
...Shares of Honda, along with its main rivals, Toyota and Nissan Motor Co. have taken a beating this year because of fears of a U.S. slowdown and the strengthening of the yen. Honda share prices have fallen as much as 22% since the beginning of the year....MORE
And from Bloomberg:
Honda Motor Co., Japan's second- largest carmaker, raised its full-year net income forecast 7.8 percent because of cost-cuts and higher sales of fuel-efficient cars in the U.S. and Asia.
The automaker expects a record profit of 690 billion yen ($6.5 billion) in the year ending March 31 compared with an October forecast of 640 billion yen, it said today. Net income in the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 38 percent to 200 billion yen.
With gasoline prices in the U.S. near a record $3 a gallon, customers opted for smaller models such as Honda's Fit compact and the CR-V small sport-utility vehicle over larger SUVs and pickup trucks. Tokyo-based Honda also won customers in China, Europe and India.
``Higher gasoline prices will continue boosting demand for Honda,'' said Hitoshi Yamamoto, who manages the equivalent of $5.5 billion in Japanese equities as chief executive officer of Fortis Asset Management in Tokyo. ``Japanese automakers will grab market share from their U.S. rivals with their fuel- efficient models.''...MORE