Betting Like SoftBank Drives Toyota’s Value Up by $19 Billion

From batteries and self-driving vehicles to lunar rovers and ride-hailing companies, the world’s second-biggest automaker is on an investment spree, pouring more than $3 billion into deals and partnerships in recent years. Toyota, which reports first-quarter results Friday, is placing bets across the board, mimicking technology investors like SoftBank Group Corp…

Indeed, shareholders are endorsing Toyota’s approach. The automaker’s stock rose 1% on Thursday, leaving it up 10% this year and adding $18.6 billion in market value. That’s better than the Topix index and other Japanese automakers, even amid tepid profit and sales growth. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predict quarterly operating profit will rise 1.3% to 692 billion yen, while revenue will climb 1.6% to 7.48 trillion yen.

In addition to investments and partnerships, Toyota’s spends about 1.05 trillion yen ($9.7 billion) a year on research and development.