UPDATE 1-Toyota shares rebound despite Prius brake problem

(For more stories on Toyota recall, click on [ID:nN27231388])

* Investors also digest reported plan to recall Prius

* Analyst says some find Toyota shares attractive

TOKYO, Feb 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Shares of Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: )
picked up from a 10-month low on Friday after the world’s largest
carmaker reported better-than-expected quarterly results and
raised its outlook despite its growing recall-related problems.
[ID:nTOE61300G] [ID:nN04116985]

Toyota said it hadn’t decided whether to recall its
third-generation Prius hybrid after more than 100 drivers
complained about a slow braking problem. [ID:nTOE6130A8]

The Nikkei business daily said on Friday the company may
recall around 270,000 units of its flagship Prius in the United
States and Japan to fix the problem. [ID:nN04179144]

Toyota shares rose to 3,335 yen, rebounding after a dip soon
after the opening bell. On Thursday, ahead of its results,
Toyota’s shares fell 3.5 percent to close at a 10-month low.

“It looks like some investors find Toyota shares attractive
at current levels as the stock has fallen to about one times its
price to book ratio,” said Eiji Hakomori, analyst at Daiwa
Securities Capital Markets.

Toyota shares outperformed the export-oriented Nikkei stock
average, which dived 2.7 percent on the back of the stronger yen
and an unexpected rise in jobless claims in the United States.
[ID:nTKW006794]

Already reeling from two massive recalls, Toyota faces the
possibility of a third as U.S. safety regulators have opened a
probe into the braking problem on the Prius, the world’s
top-selling hybrid.

The probe of the Prius, which has powered Toyota’s image of
fuel efficiency, compounds a safety crisis that has hit its
sales, financial results and reputation for quality and prompted
the recall of more than 8 million vehicles around the world for
problems with uncontrolled acceleration.

Analysts and rivals say the Prius has emerged as a kind of
environmental “halo car” for Toyota, an icon of green design with
an intense following among loyalists, which has lifted the public
image of the whole company.

Toyota said on Thursday that the recalls of its conventional
gas-powered vehicles would cost it up to $2 billion in the
January-March quarter.

“A change to the ABS system for the Prius is an additional
latent expense. We estimate related expenses at some 3 billion
yen,” Morgan Stanley analyst Noriaki Hirakata said in a note to
clients.

Stock Market Money

(Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

UPDATE 1-Toyota shares rebound despite Prius brake problem