South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co reported a better than expected quarterly operating profit, helped by brisk sales of sport-utility vehicles such as its Tucson and Palisade models.
Operating profit for October-December came in at 1.24 trillion won ($1.07 billion), outperforming analysts' average estimate of 1.06 trillion won, according to Refinitiv I/B/E/S data. That drove Hyundai Motor shares up 5%.
Net profit for the quarter came in at 839 billion won, missing analysts' estimates.
In the same quarter a year earlier, Hyundai booked a 129.8 billion won loss, its first quarterly loss in at least eight years as sales slumped in China. It has since closed one of its five Chinese factories. ($1 = 1,163.69 won)
In 2019, robust SUV sales helped Hyundai's U.S. vehicle sales grow about 7.7%, analysts said, though its sales in China, the world's biggest auto market, continued to struggle.