Honda hikes annual f’cast as Q3 beats expectations

TOKYO, Feb 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Honda Motor Co (7267.T: ), Japan’s
No. 2 carmaker, lifted its annual outlook for the third time
after a recovery in global auto sales and a
weaker-than-expected yen helped it to its strongest quarterly
operating profit in a year and a half.

Honda, which may benefit from the global recall of millions
of vehicles by larger rival Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: ), said on
Wednesday its operating profit for the October-December quarter
jumped 73 percent to 177 billion yen ($1.96 billion), marking
its biggest profit in six quarters.

That beat a mean estimate of about 85 billion yen in a poll
of three analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Honda weathered the industry turmoil that drove two U.S.
automakers to bankruptcy better than many as its profitable and
dominant motorcycle business cushioned the blow.

Its car business has also turned up recently thanks to
government sales incentives such as the United States’
cash-for-clunkers programme.

For the full year to the end of March, the maker of the
Civic and other fuel-efficient cars expects an operating profit
of 320 billion yen versus a previous estimate of 190 billion
yen and well above a mean estimate of 237.4 billion yen in a
poll of 20 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, headed by CEO Takanobu Ito, raised its
full-year forecasts at both its first and second quarter
earnings releases.

Shares of Honda have gained 8 percent since late October,
when it nearly tripled its full-year operating profit forecast,
outperforming a 1.4 percent increase in the benchmark Nikkei
average. (.N225: )
($1=90.43 Yen)

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(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

Honda hikes annual f’cast as Q3 beats expectations