Fiat Auto is reporting an operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2005 more than two and a half times analysts' forecasts. The company posted a loss in the previous year's fourth quarter.
Propelled by strong sales of the new Punto, which debuted in Italy in September, the Italian automaker managed to post its positive result in a largely stagnant European market.

The company moved quickly to capitalize on the good news, announcing plans for a new bond issue.

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