MILAN (Bloomberg) – Fiat S.p.A., the Italian carmaker that operates Chrysler Group, reported a third consecutive quarter of net income, powered by Iveco trucks, Case New Holland tractors and auto demand in Brazil.
Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items, which Fiat calls trading profit, rose 26 percent to 615 million euros ($844 million), exceeding the 598 million-euro average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Net income reached 318 million euros, compared with a 283 million- loss a year earlier, Fiat said Thursday.
The results are for Fiat Group before the company spun off its industrial businesses into Fiat Industrial SpA this month.CEO Sergio Marchionne, 58, separated Fiat's trucks and tractors units to focus on carmaking.
Italy's largest manufacturer led a ninth consecutive monthly decline in European car sales in December as demand waned after government incentives expired. Fiat Industrial shares fell in Milan after the CEO didn't raise 2011 forecasts.
“The guidance is more prudent for Fiat Industrial than for Fiat auto as we expected an increase in targets for the industrial business,” said Emanuele Oggioni, who helps oversee about 600 million euros at Saint George Capital Management in Lugano, Switzerland. “Apart from the short term volatility, the forecasts are good in the medium term.”
Fiat reiterated its April forecast for about 37 billion euros of revenue and as much as 1.2 billion euros of trading profit at the new Fiat in 2011.
Fiat Industrial will have about 22 billion euros in 2011 sales and as much as 1.4 billion euros of trading profit, the company confirmed today. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg is for a trading profit of 1.59 billion euros.
CNH Global NV, the agricultural equipment maker that is part of Fiat Industrial, today reported fourth-quarter net income of $209 million, compared with $28 million a year earlier. Net equipment sales jumped 17 percent to $3.8 billion.
Union plans strike
Marchionne, who aims to improve productivity and capacity utilization in Italy, this month won workers' concessions over a 1 billion-euro plan to revamp Fiat's Mirafiori factory.
Fiom Cgil, Fiat's biggest union which represents 10,000 of the carmaker's 83,000 workers in Italy, opposes the deal and has called a general strike tomorrow among metalworkers against the CEO's plan to curtail absenteeism and strike rights.