Automotive News reports Mazda is set to turn a profit for the first time in five years. The automaker is more dependent on exports from Japan than other automakers based in that country, and as a result, it has long suffered at the hands of a strong yen. But the currency has declined in value by some 16 percent over the past six months and Mazda's shares have tripled in value to their highest level since 2008. Contrast this situation to a year ago when Mazda printed 1.22 billion new shares to raise cash. The move was equivalent to 70 percent of the company's then-outstanding stock, and values tumbled to record lows as a result.
Now that the yen has fallen to a value of around 96 per dollar, Mazda operations in the US are more profitable and the company now projects it will earn around $279 million for the next fiscal year. Automotive News says a one yen change against the dollar can have a 9.1 percent impact on Mazda operating profit compared to 4.7 percent at Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries or 3.1 percent at Toyota. Those automakers better insulate themselves from currency fluctuations with overseas manufacturing facilities.