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Chrysler More than Doubles Q2 Earnings

Make could “overshoot” profit target for 2012, says Marchionne.

by on Jul.30, 2012

Good news from Chrysler today for CEO Sergio Marchionne but things aren't likely to be so rosy when partner Fiat reports earnings on Tuesday.

Chrysler Group LLC reported a 141% improvement in its adjusted net income during the second quarter and a 23% increase in revenue over last year’s levels.

The company said preliminary second-quarter financial results, including net income of $436 million, show an $806 million improvement from the $370 million net loss in the same quarter last year, which had included a $551 million charge related to repayment of its government bailout loans.

Excluding the charge, net income increased $255 million, or 141%, period over period, as the company continues to achieve its business targets and improve sales across all brands, Chrysler said. The maker repeated earlier guidance saying it remains on track to report net earnings of $1.5 billion for all of 2012 – and an operating profit of $3 billion.

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“Our results reflect a tireless pursuit by the people of Chrysler Group to deliver the very best quality and value across our brands,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group LLC chairman and chief executive officer, who now expects the automaker’s profits to exceed $1.5 billion for the full year. “Together, we are always striving to achieve more, to learn from the past and build upon our successes.”

Chrysler’s net revenue for the quarter was $16.8 billion, up 23% from $13.7 billion a year ago. Worldwide vehicle shipments were 630,000 in the quarter, up 22% from 514,000 a year ago and in line with the full-year target.

Marchionne also noted U.S. market share increased to 11.2% for the second quarter, up from 10.6% a year ago, driven by a 32% increase in U.S retail sales. Chrysler’s market share in Canada also increased to 14.5%.

In another important marker of the company’s overall financial health, the company’s net industrial debt was reduced to $432 million at June 30, 2012 from $2.1 billion a year ago and $1.3 billion at March 31, 2012

The company’s modified operating profit increased 49% to $755 million and free cash flow for the quarter totaled $866 million.

Marchionne said Chrysler expects worldwide vehicle shipments of 2.3 to 2.4 million and net revenue of $65 billion.

While cross-town rival Ford Motor Co. saw a 57% decline in Q2 earnings – with GM expected to report another big drop later this week – Chrysler doesn’t have the same level of drag from plunging European sales.  In other years, its limited overseas volume might have been seen as a problem for Chrysler but this year the maker is benefiting from the general improvement in North America and, in particular, the strong reception its latest products are being given.

If anything, Marchionne was upbeat about the prospects for the full year, noting that, “The objective of $3 billion (in operating income) is close at hand,” and, if anything, “We could overshoot it.”

Marchionne may be a bit more somber tomorrow, however, when Chrysler’s majority stakeholder, Fiat SpA, reports its own earnings – which are expected to show serious bruising due to the ongoing European crisis.


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