Toyota Motor Is a Big Winner from Japan's Plan to Stimulate Exports

11/20/2014 2:40 pm EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor,

This leading Japanese automaker's impressive quarterly results seem to have gotten more of a boost from its own efforts than from currency tailwinds, so MoneyShow's Jim Jubak is raising his target price as of today, November 20.

On November 5, Toyota Motor (TM) announced the kind of quarterly results that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bank of Japan economists are hoping for from Japan's big exporters. For the quarter that ended on September 30, the company reported an 11.3% increase in operating profit. And the company raised its projections for its annual dividend payout in the fiscal year that ends in March 2015 by a bit more than 10% and increased its guidance for fiscal 2015 operating profit by a little less than 10%.

All this came while the Japanese domestic economy was slipping back into recession. Sales fell by 8.9% year-over-year in Japan.

But overseas? Especially in North America?

Sales in North America climbed 12.5% on higher demand for Toyota's SUV the RAV4 and a sell-out quarter for the bread-and-butter Camry. (Actually, I find bread and butter—a good salted butter on a baguette—more exciting than a Camry…but whatever.)

As I investor, though, what I found most upbeat about the quarter was that Toyota results weren't especially dependent on a weaker yen—and that, going forward, the company's guidance left considerable upside from a weaker yen on the table.

The company was able to show a 10.1% operating margin for the quarter thanks to 40 billion yen in favorable foreign exchange transactions and 80 billion yen in cost reductions. In other words, the company got more of a boost from its own efforts than from currency tailwinds.

In raising its full year operating profit guidance to 2.5 trillion yen from 2.3 trillion (and in raising its full-year estimate of net profit (including non-operating income) to 2 trillion yen from 1.78 trillion yen), Toyota used a very conservative exchange rate of 105 yen to the dollar. Since the yen closed near 117 to the dollar on November 19, the company is likely see more upside from the weak yen than it included in its guidance.

Toyota Motor is a member of my Jubak's Picks portfolio. As of November 20, I'm raising my target price on the New York traded ADRs to $155 from the prior $145. The ADRs trade with an estimated 3.25% dividend yield.

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