In another sign of the widening dichotomy between General Motors and its Japanese rival Toyota Motor , TM saw a nice jump in profit during its latest reporting period while GM admitted to a wider-than-expected loss. Toyota said its second-quarter net profit rose 11% to 450.9 billion yen, from 405.7 billion yen in the year-ago period. Group sales jumped 11% to 6.49 trillion yen, and operating profit rose 2.7%.
For its current fiscal year, which wraps up in March, Toyota lifted its group net profit outlook to 1.7 trillion yen from 1.65 trillion yen. If achieved, this would mark TM's sixth straight year of record-setting net profit. Group sales are projected to hit 25.5 trillion yen for the year, slightly above earlier estimates of 25 trillion yen.
In the latest reporting period, Toyota sold 2.139 million vehicles around the globe, a 4.1% increase from the previous year. Sales in Europe, North America, and Asia (excluding Japan) were higher, although Japanese sales dropped slightly to 506,000 vehicles.
In other news from the Japanese auto giant, Toyota said it will buy back up to 15 million shares, or about 0.4% of its common shares. The buyback will cost as much as 110 billion yen and will be completed between November 9 and 29.
Despite these nuggets of good news, TM is trading fractionally lower this afternoon, following the grim broader market into the red. But it is certainly outperforming GM, which is currently lower by 5.4%.