DETROIT -- Chrysler Corp. said yesterday that it lost $82 million in the third quarter, significantly less than analysts had predicted.
The results touched off strong buying of Chrysler stock, which rose $1.625 to finish at $12.75 on trading volume of 3.3 million shares.
Chrysler's loss was on revenue of $7.5 billion, compared with a loss of $214 million a year ago on revenue of $6.5 billion. For the nine months the automaker has lost $892 million on revenue of $21.1 billion, compared with a nine-month profit last year of $37 million on revenue of $23 billion.
Like General Motors and Ford, Chrysler has suffered during the recession, and its latest losses again stemmed mostly from lower sales of cars and trucks. But Chrysler has been much weaker financially than GM and Ford, so the improved results were claimed as a triumph by the company's management.
"In the market we're in today, holding losses to $82 million is an outstanding performance and clearly reflects the efficiencies we've gained by restructuring Chrysler into a lean and highly productive company," Chrysler Chairman Lee A. Iacocca said in a statement.
Analysts had expected Chrysler to lose about $190 million in the period, which is the weakest because of slow production due to the introduction of new models. Worldwide factory sales of vehicles to dealers were 453,349 during the third quarter, compared with 412,723 a year ago.