Toyota raises sales forecast as it posts $2.2 billion profit

Toyota Motor Corp. reported a quarterly profit of $2.2 billion on Wednesday, reversing red ink from a year earlier as the world’s top automaker benefited from a global sales recovery that offset lingering doubts about the safety of its cars.

The company, which makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, raised its full-year earnings forecast. It said it now expects to sell 7.38 million vehicles worldwide for the year through March 2011, up from 7.24 million the previous year. Previously it forecast sales of 7.29 million vehicles.

The numbers show that Toyota is recovering from the sales battering it took from the global financial crisis two years ago and the blows to its image from massive recalls that began in October. 

AOL takes $1.4 billion loss, says it is getting healthier

AOL Inc. reported a $1.4 billion second-quarter loss and tumbling revenue, yet the dismal numbers appear to belie a more positive reality: The troubled Internet company is actually chugging along on the road to recovery.

AOL is amid a turnaround effort under CEO Tim Armstrong, a former Google Inc. executive who is trying to shift AOL from relying on a shrinking dial-up Internet business to finding growth in online ad sales.

On Wednesday, AOL reported $1.4 billion in write-downs for the declining value of its assets and the sale of the social networking site Bebo. Armstrong said that the write-downs don’t point toward problems at AOL, but rather indicate that “the patient is getting healthier.” 

Time Warner income rises 7 percent in second quarter

A rebound in advertising markets and strong box-office results helped lift Time Warner Inc.’s second-quarter profit 7 percent, the media conglomerate said Wednesday.

The results topped Wall Street expectations, and Time Warner signaled growing confidence by boosting its full-year profit forecast.

Time Warner’s results offered more evidence that businesses have started spending again to reach customers after cutting back during the recession. At the company’s cable channels, which include CNN, TBS, the Cartoon Network and others, ad revenue was up by $126 million, or 14 percent, over the same quarter a year ago.

The company reported net income of $562 million, or 49 cents per share. That’s up from $524 million, or 43 cents, a year ago. 

Largest homebuilder posts first profit in three years

PulteGroup Inc., the nation’s largest homebuilder, said Wednesday it returned to a quarterly profit for the first time in more than three years as revenue surged amid a rush by Americans to complete their home purchase to qualify for federal tax credits.

The builder’s acquisition of rival Centex Corp. last year was key, bolstering its inventory of homes geared for first-time buyers, many of whom seized on the government incentives.

PulteGroup, based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., said net income for the second quarter ended June 30 totaled $76.3 million, or 20 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $189.5 million, or 74 cents a share, in the prior-year period. 

Allstate’s income tumbles due to investment losses

Property and casualty insurer Allstate Corp. said its net income fell sharply in the second quarter as a result of investment losses.

The Northbrook, Ill., company said it earned $145 million, or 27 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30. That compares with a profit of $389 million, or 72 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Not including one-time items, the company said it earned 81 cents per share.

that measure, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Allstate to post a net income of 69 cents per share on revenue of $6.61 billion.