Toyota Hits the BRICs

With annual earnings exceeding $12.5 billion, the auto giant isn't worried. Still, buffing up Brazil, Russia, India, and China won't hurt

Can anybody stop Toyota (TM)? The company's status as an astounding auto industry profit machine was reconfirmed on Aug. 4. Toyota posted yet another set of stellar quarterly numbers. Defying slumping auto markets in Japan and the U.S. during the three months through June, the Japanese carmaker's operating profits rose 26%, to $4.5 billion, compared with a year earlier. The operating margin for the quarter touched 9%. Net earnings increased 39%, to $3.2 billion, as sales rocketed 13.2%, to $49 billion.

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