Skip to main content

Toyota posts profits but recall questions loom

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
Click to play
Toyota's surprise earnings
  • Toyota post a $1.7 billion profit for the quarter ending December 31
  • Toyota officials estimate the total cost of the global recall would be $2 billion
  • Toyota's stock price drops more than 12 percent compared to the same time last year

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Toyota has posted a $1.7 billion profit for the quarter ending December 31, but the good news did little to buoy a company buffeted by a massive global recall.

The company also upgraded its forecast and is projecting to end the fiscal year in March to an $880 million profit. The company previously forecast a $2.2 billion loss this year.

At a news conference today, Toyota officials estimated the total cost of the global recall would be as much as $2 billion, with a loss in 100,000 vehicles in sales in the United States and Europe.

The company reported a 10.2 percent rise in third-quarter net revenue, a gain that does not reflect financial damage from massive recalls that the automaker has since launched.

Video: Toyota owners 'shouldn't panic'
Video: Toyota's mixed messages
Video: Toyota: 'We've let you down'

Toyota, the world's largest automaker, sold 2.07 million units during the October - December period. That was an increase of 227,000 from a year ago, despite a struggling global economy.

For the quarter that ended December 31, Toyota operating income increased in all regions of the world.

Toyota's stock price has dropped more than 12 percent so far this year and dropped nearly 5 percent Thursday morning ahead of announcement of the company's quarterly results.

The safety of millions of vehicles in North America, Europe and China have been called into question in recent months for two separate recalls related to sticking accelerator pedals. Those recalls affected eight separate vehicle models.

This week, Toyota revealed it is also investigating complaints of its popular Prius model related to problems with the braking systems in Japan and North America. So far, no recall has been called for the Prius.

Toyota posted its first annual loss in the history of the company for the fiscal year ending March 2008, finishing the year with a $4.4 billion loss. The appreciation of the yen against major currencies, rise in raw material costs and the collapse of the auto market in Europe and North America led to the company's loss last year.

CNN's Kyung Lah contributed to this report