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This Japanese Automaker Is Shifting Profit Forecasts Into 5th Gear

Chris Neiger
November 10, 2012

Over the past few years, Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) has experienced a couple of major setbacks. In 2011, the devastating Japanese earthquake slowed production for the company, and this year GM (NYSE: GM  ) took the top-selling automaker title from Toyota. But despite the rough past few years, the Japanese automaker has cut costs, increased sales, and just raised its yearly profit forecasts.

Leaving the past in the rearview mirror
This week, Toyota managed to raise profit forecasts by 2.6% for the year ending in March. Toyota is on the road to more than tripling its profits year over year to $9.8 billion, while both Honda (NYSE: HMC  ) and Nissan have cut their full-year profit estimates by 20%.

A dispute between China and Japan over islands in the East China Sea has hurt Japanese auto sales, including Toyota's. The company lowered its full-year production estimates for this year from 8.8 million to 8.75 million. Fortunately for Toyota, it was slower to move into China than some of its Japanese competitors. In 2011, Toyota had 12.6% of its global sales coming from China, compared with Honda's 19.38% and Nissan's 26.7%.