TOKYO - Nissan Motor Co. lost more than 50.5 billion yen ($385 million) on the shares it holds in related companies in the just-ended fiscal year.
Nissan executives declined to provide a breakdown of the portfolio loss, but it will worsen Nissan's annual results, which are due in May.
Morgan Stanley auto analyst Noriaki Hirakata cut his forecast for Nissan's consolidated, or worldwide, earnings to $385 million. At the end of February he had predicted a profit of $669 million.
When it released its half-year results in November 1997, Nissan cut its forecast for unconsolidated, or parent-only, net income to $423 million from the $615 million it had predicted in May 1997.
Analysts doubt those figures, though.
'Bottom line: they are going to see lower profit from normal operations,' said Hirakata. Sales in Japan are soft. And with 'no significant new model until autumn 1999 in the USA,' any volume gains there will come only with higher incentives, he said.
That would be costly. Citing Nissan's 'subpar' earnings outlook, Standard & Poor's recently cut the automaker's credit rating, which raises financing costs.